Back to school hasn’t negatively affected dairy prices much and, realistically, will probably help boost demand in many countries.

The market never really dipped that much in summer and while it was quieter in terms of trading, prices have held firm at least.

Some are saying the market is more positive now than it has been in weeks.

My colleague in the UK said EU butter has increased toward €4,000 again, with prices in the UK benefitting from that, plus a drop in the currency rate from over €1.18 back to the more normal €1.16 range.

He said there were reports of cheaper parcels of older butter being available from Ireland, Netherlands and Germany, but those volumes seem to have passed through the system if they were ever there.

Skim milk powder (SMP) has also benefitted from the market turn and is heading over €2,500/tonne in EU circles, which is helping the mix.

Cheese did take a dip, but seems to be back on a rally again. Mozzarella cheese had also taken a dip, so Carbery will be happy to see it back up.

Cheddar is also improving and the curve is upward on prices from where it has been.

Meanwhile, spot milk prices are still extremely strong on the back of low milk volumes in the UK.

They are now between 33 and 36p (sterling).

The most recent EU report shows a production decline for the main categories of milk products such as SMP (-3.7%), butter (-0.9%), drinking milk (-0.6%), fermented milk (-2%) and WMP (-12.1%); and increases in cheese (+2.9%), cream (+2.8%) and concentrated milk (+4.6%), compared with January to June 2020.