Milk price hike warningSupplies affected by wet weather

01 August 2007

Pints of milk are likely to get more expensive following the miserable weather, an expert warned.

Rain and floods forced farmers to feed cows silage indoors rather than grass outdoors, which means the animals produce less milk.

And farmers whose winter animal feed is already running low will have to pay more to replace it because of rising grain costs.

The combination of a dip in supply and increased production costs is likely to mean higher shop prices, according to Dairy UK.

Global demand

The cross-industry body's director general, Jim Begg, said rising global demand for milk and dairy products was also putting pressure on supplies.

'These are all pressures which we would expect to see reflected in higher retail prices. It is happening all around Europe, not just the UK,' he said.

Mr Begg could not put a figure on the anticipated price increase because this will be up to the retailers.

He said consumers were unlikely to see less milk in shops because any supply shortage would instead affect longer-life products made with milk.

Feed bill

The National Farmers' Union today called on buyers and retailers to pay farmers more for raw milk.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: 'Conditions so far this summer have been disastrous for many dairy farmers, not just those who have been affected by floods, but everyone who has been forced to house cattle, use valuable stocks of silage and is now faced with a massive feed bill going into the winter.'

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