Privately owned stocks of butter held under the Private Storage Aid Scheme are peaking at near record levels. Across the EU, PSA stocks at the beginning of August had reached 162,000 tonnes, including 7,400t in the UK. This was 13,000t more than at the same time last year. The purpose of the scheme is to encourage operators to take high spring and summer make off the market to use stored product to meet demand in the autumn and winter. This year the scheme is so successful nearly one third of the butter made between April and August will receive the subsidies. PSA stock holders always take a gamble that market prices will not drop between the time the butter is placed in store and when it is eventually marketed, which has to be before March 31 next year. At present, butter prices in the EU are very flat due to the reduced holiday season demand. In the past two years prices have risen from September as demand revived but there is less certainty this will happen this year. {{M/E CANNED GOODS }}