intervention price.
For skim milk powder, the intervention cuts so far have amounted to about 10%, but recent Continental prices are only down by about 4% compared with January 2004. Further declines may yet be seen in the next two months to bring the market close to the current intervention price.
In cheese, the intervention price reductions do not seem to have had any effect yet. Mild Cheddar has been selling at virtually the same price as two years ago.
The most perverse price trend is in whey powder. Markets were firm through much of last year, helped by rising exports outside the EU and a growing domestic market. Prices for this powder have been more than 40% higher than they were in January 2004 and there are no signs that these record levels are about to crack.
With two more rounds of support price cuts to come, the next on July 1, prices seem likely to continue falling.