Commodity prices continue to rise within UK and European dairy markets, boosting the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) milk price indicator (MPI) by 0.54p/l.

The latest MPI now stands at a six-month high of 34.21p/l and has recorded six consecutive price increases since mid-August.

Allowing for a deduction to cover transport costs and processing margin, the current MPI would point to a base milk price in the region of 30p/l to 31p/l in early 2024.

Underpinning the MPI is improved buying demand at the weekly Dutch Dairy Board (DDB) auction.

Last week, DDB butter recorded a €200/t increase and now stands at €5,600/t, putting butter at its highest price level since 30 November 2022.

Skim milk powder rose by €20 to €2,590/t, the highest price recorded for the product since early March 2023.

Whole milk powder increased by €50 to €3,700/t which puts it at its highest price since early January 2023.


Within UK markets, demand for butter and cheddar has also improved and that is reflected in rising farmgate price forecasts from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Its November milk market value (MMV) indicator is up 2p/l to 36.76p/l, although this is a forward price reflecting likely farmgate prices in three months’ time.

DAERA price

The latest statistics published by DAERA show the average farm gate price paid in NI during September was 31.52p/l, up 0.98p/l from August. However, compared to September 2022, milk price is down 17p/l.

September milk production totalled 174.46m litres, down 0.5m litres on the same month last year.

That brings year-to-date production to 1,950m litres, down 2m litres on last year and 7m litres below the record levels recorded in 2021.

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