UK milk price climbs EU table

UK milk prices did not fall as much as those in other EU countries according to data from DG Agri.

DairyCo’s analysis of the data shows that in ppl terms, the annual average price paid in the EU-25 fell by 13 per cent between 2008 and 2009 compared to 8 per cent in the UK.

Effectively, it moved us up the EU-25 ranking from 21st in 2008 to 14th last year.

In 2008, only farmers in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Estonia received a lower price. In 2009 we overtook countries like Ireland and Germany for the first time in six years.

It still remained 5 per cent below the EU-25 average, however, and far from the 44.23ppl achieved by Cyprus.

DairyCo is quite clear the main reason why the UK farmgate price suffered less than most of the EU is size of our liquid market.

It represents more than half of raw milk produced, it is used to satisfy domestic demand, and consequently a lower proportion of our volume is dependent on returns from the commodity markets.

Dedicated supply relationships in Britain have helped some farmers attain relatively high prices that are supported by retailers.

DairyCo, however, expects commodity prices to rise again in 2010, and the likelihood is the situation will reverse with countries like Germany, again, overtaking the UK.

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