The average December base price across all processors is 33.48p/l, however, a gap of 2.8p/l exists from the highest to lowest price on offer and that has a significant bearing on the positions within our monthly analysis.

Shown in Table B are December prices paid to 1m-litre suppliers for milk produced at either high, average or low solids, with the differing criteria for milk quality highlighted in Table 1 on the opposite page.

For high solids milk, prices averaged 37p/l across the board, up 0.7p/l from November.

Tirlán/Fivemiletown remains out in front for the second month in a row, paying 38.89p/l.

Behind Tirlán, Dale Farm remains in second with Lakeland Dairies holding on to third. The only positional changes from the November league table sees Leprino Foods overtake Aurivo for fourth, thanks to its volume, mozzarella and sustainability premiums.

Average solids

Moving to average milk solids, the December price paid across the board averaged 36.26p/l, up from 35.59p/l in November. The top three places are unchanged from the previous league and identical to high solids milk. However, in the bottom half of the table, there is some re-ranking as Leprino Foods leapfrogs Aurivo for fourth spot with Strathroy rounding out the table.

Rolling 12 months

When comparing prices for high solids milk over the 12-month period ending December 2023, Tirlán moves up one place to reclaim the top position, having topped the monthly league tables for November and December.

That means Dale Farm slips to second place, trailing by just 0.06p/l. Strathroy holds on to third, with no positional changes to the bottom half of the table from the previous month.

However, at average solids, Dale Farm narrowly retains top spot on 35.83p/l, finishing just 0.01p/l ahead of Tirlán in second. Positions are unchanged from third to sixth. For low solids milk, Strathroy paid the highest average price of 35.53p/l over the past 12 months.

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