With manufacturing levels higher than makers had earlier dared hope, the expected firming of the Cheddar market is taking time to show itself. Prices are firm but beyond a recent slight upward movement of around £30 per tonne on mild Cheddar, little more has yet happened. There still seems to be a general expectation that prices will be above £2,300 per tonne by early August but there is marginally less confidence about this than a month ago. Mature Cheddar prices likewise are steady rather than firming. A good run in making extra Cheddar since late last year may have made manufacturers more comfortable in facing tighter supplies. Much depends on milk supplies in the next month or two. The rate of decline will determine whether makers will conserve stocks. {{M/E CANNED GOODS }}

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