UK: Arla, Müller, Wyke and more increase farmgate milk prices

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Milk Farmgate milk price Dairy

The start of 2024 has been marked by steady milk price increases in the UK after a year of reductions.

Arla, Müller, Wyke Farms and Barbers Cheddar Cheese have been among those who have announced increases for March or April.

Farmers on Muller Advantage contracts will see a 1ppl increase to 37.5ppl from April 1, with head of agriculture at Müller Milk & Ingredients, Richard Collins, stating that market stability has given the processor the confidence to continue increasing their price. “We recognise the ongoing pressures for supplying farms and with the market looking stable, we will continue to do what we can to support, and protect security of supply.”

Arla has increased its milk price for March for both conventional and organic milk, by 1.0 eurocent per kilogram. This puts the UK price at 40.06ppl for conventional and 47.38ppl for organic respectively.

Organic Herd (formerly Omsco) is adding 0.5ppl to its milk price from April, following the same 0.5ppl rise implemented in March; all this puts the price to 50ppl on a standard liter basis.

Cheese processors Wyke Farms and Barbers have also posted positive price updates for April, with Wyke increasing to 39ppl per liter (4.2% fat, 3.4% protein), up 0.70ppl and Barbers announcing a 0.52ppl rise bringing its standard liter price to 38.72ppl. Barbers said this is ‘only the second ever increase recorded for any April, as this month typically records our highest milk supply per day within the year’. “An April increase in milk price is unusual,” the company pointed out.

Positive outlook after a year of reductions

The outlook for milk-supplying farmers remains positive at the start of 2024 as we head closer to the spring flush, with many processors having applied price increases for January and February and now for March and April. This comes after a year where farmgate milk prices decreased from record highs in 2022, but nonetheless challenged farmers who still faced elevated input costs last year. In January, the average milk price as announced by Defra was 37.68ppl, down 0.24ppl on December 2023.

Meanwhile in the US, dairy farmers will receive indemnity payments as part of the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for January. Milk protected at the $9.50 level will receive payments of $761.56 for each one million pounds enrolled.

Applications for the 2024 program are now open​. In 2023, DMC payments triggered in 11 months, with eligible producers receiving $2.80 per cwt per month.

Related topics Ingredients Commodities