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Many producers will have just received a letter telling them their price is going down yet again, and for some that takes them well into June.
How depressing is that, especially with many prices sub 20ppl. It takes the heart out of the job and leaves people wondering if it’s all worth it when the milk cheque does eventually land.
Meantime the bills continue to roll in and balancing the two has become somewhat of a fine art in deciding which bills to leave unpaid and which warrant higher priority.
But before we get too depressed, those keen eyed analysts who monitor such things are reporting a glimmer, nothing more, at the end of this dark tunnel.
Although the GDT is still bouncing, the drop off in milk volumes through April and May in the UK has changed matters. Volumes are significantly down against processors’ forecasts, and the projections are this will continue.
It’s not that processors are short of milk, but they are, crucially, shorter of milk than they thought they would be, and traders are reported to be more bullish than they were a month ago.
But if prices do finally edge forward, it will only be from being dreadful to bad. For decent increases to hit milk cheques the commodity prices will have to move a good deal yet and the lag factor could mean it takes several months.
And things are not being helped with more ludicrous discount deals on fresh milk from the likes of Morrisons, Farm Foods and Booker. Asda, on the other hand, is doing better by putting its price up and using the extra revenue to stimulate sales of added-value milk lines.
Just at the moment we need all the help we can get if that glimmer is to grow!
Peter Hollinshead, Editor