The first GDT event of September ended on a positive note, with the price index rising 2.7%, halting a run of four negative auctions and coming after the dramatic 7.4% fall experienced at the last auction in mid-August.

Butter increased by 1.1% to US $4,588/t, with whole milk powder price jumping 5.3% to $2,702/t. In contrast, skim milk powder prices fell 1.6%, with cheddar dropping 0.6% in value.

While the auction was positive, the price index now stands at 873, which is similar to levels recorded back in May 2020, when local prices were around the 25p/litre mark.

Meanwhile, DAERA statistics show milk quality in NI continues to improve year-on-year. Over the first six months of 2023, butterfat averaged 4.14%, up from 4.12% last year and significantly higher than the 4.01% recorded five years ago. Protein levels are unchanged at 3.28% for the first half of the year, but have slowly increased from 3.24% five years ago. There has also been a gradual improvement in both TBC and SCC in 2023.

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Beef trade on the up as quotes improve

Weighing cow-calf pairs for SCEP and submitting weights to the ICBF