Butter might soon be moving into intervention in the UK for the first time since last May. This is not because bulk butter prices are falling but because the euro is moving up against sterling. This pushes up the UK intervention price for butter in sterling terms. At the beginning of this week the intervention price had risen to around £1875/tonne or £75/tonne (4%) higher than at the beginning of December. Recent UK market prices have been around £1,850/tonne and suppliers may be tempted to take product off the market for sale into public stocks. If the euro's upward trend continues, this could start to have an effect on the lowest UK packet butter prices. With retail tickets starting at around 45p/250g, equivalent to £1,800/tonne, sales below cost of this magnitude could not be sustained for long, particularly after taking into account the higher cost of retail packeting. Exporting bulk butter to the continent is also getting more attractive as sterling weakens. {{PROVISIONS }}

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