UK – The dairy industry in the United Kingdom is experiencing a notable surge in milk supply, effectively curbing the initial rise in farmgate milk prices.

Processors are responding to the increased production at the beginning of the year, aligning milk supply more closely with the levels seen last year after a fall during the autumn.

UK wholesale prices for cream and butter saw an uptick in January, but skimmed milk powder and mild cheddar faced a decline.

Despite market momentum slowing down and increased supply, several processors have declared that milk prices will remain unchanged for February and March.

Arla will maintain its price at 39.18p/litre for a manufacturing litre, with organic producers receiving 46.5p/litre in February.

Muller and Barber’s Cheesemakers also announced steady prices for March, at 36.5p/litre and 38.2p/litre, respectively. Organic Herd plans a 0.5p/litre increase in its March milk price to 49.5p/litre for organic producers, expressing cautious optimism for further increases in the spring and early summer.

In Northern Ireland, dairy farmers are witnessing further drops in milk prices compared to other EU countries and the rest of the UK, leading to concerns about the sustainability of the industry.

As the UK’s post-Brexit import controls came into effect on January 31, 2024, there are growing concerns about potential consequences for dairy imports from Europe.

The Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) introduces Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks, creating additional costs and regulatory burdens throughout the supply chain.

DairyReporter sought insights from the Institute of Export & International Trade, with Director General Marco Forgione highlighting the medium-risk categorization of many dairy products.

Exporters from the EU will require an Export Health Certificate (EHC) and notification in the EU’s TRACES NT system, incurring costs ranging from €140 to €260 per shipment.

In the UK, importers must navigate the Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed system (IPAFFS) with a Common Health Entry Document, referencing it in the Customs Declaration Service.

The complexity of these procedures may lead some small EU businesses to consider suspending or altering shipments to the UK.

With certain aspects of the process becoming enforceable after April 30, officials will assess the system’s effectiveness. The final implementation stage in October 2024 will require Safety and Security declarations for all EU imports, raising concerns about the readiness of the haulage industry for these changes.

Forgione advised exporters and importers to communicate effectively, understand their responsibilities, and stay updated on the latest information as April 30 approaches, emphasizing the need for clarity in various areas.

The evolving landscape of Brexit-related regulations adds an element of uncertainty to the UK’s dairy sector, requiring stakeholders to adapt to new challenges in the coming months.


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