Makers have not recovered all of their cost increase from the market yet Despite higher make so far this year, Cheddar prices on the UK market have been getting firmer. Mild Cheddar, whether imported or home produced, is fetching around £2,300 per tonne, up at least £50 in recent weeks and about 15% higher than a year ago. This upward trend is attributed in part to the higher milk prices paid out by UK cheese manufacturers from April which have added around £200 to the cost of a tonne of cheese. Makers have still not, therefore, recovered all of their cost increase from the market and prices are likely to move further ahead in August and September. The time lag between production and sale is clearly longer for Mature Cheddar, normally between six months and a year, and in this market sector manufacturers are currently involved in recovering higher milk costs for cheese made from last October onwards ­ with the April milk price hike still to come on top. Good quality Mature Cheddar prices are beginning to move up and some suppliers, particularly in the Farmhouse sector, are looking for increases of £200 per tonne. Fears earlier in the season of a flood of Irish imports this year have yet to be realised and continental shippers, particularly in Belgium and Germany, are showing little interest in making Cheddar for the UK market as their own domestic cheese markets are experiencing rapid growth. In any event, most Cheddar imports are of mild cheese and have little effect on the still growing mature sector of the UK market. {{M/E CANNED GOODS }}

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