Relentless climb
World dairy product prices continue to climb with no sign of a let-up.
Whole milk powder prices have risen $300 a tonne since August this year, while skimmed milk powder is also up, by $250 a tonne.
World market butter prices are reported by New Zealand sources to have risen in the same period by about 20%. However, cheese prices have remained static.
One of the driving forces for a firmer world dairy market is the prospect of New Zealand's milk production being pegged until May.
In Australia, severe drought in many areas is driving milk output lower ­ possible by as much as 5% in the year to May.

Amelca sale fails
Tough trading conditions in the milk sector are being blamed for the failure to sell Amelca, the £20m farmer-backed milk processing plant.
Receivers have abandoned attempts to sell the Derbyshire business as a going concern after interested parties withdrew from a sale. The plant is closed and its assets will be sold.
About 150 farmers invested £4.5m in the operation with further funds made available by the Bank of Scotland. The business went into receivership three months after operations began, and the farmers are unlikely to receive any return from the break-up.
The failure is bound to deter farmers from similar future collaborations which were a key recommendation by Sir Don Curry's Commission into the Future of Farming and Food.

Pressure on tuna
Slower skipjack tuna fishing is about to spark a seasonal price increase.
Recent quotes for the first quarter of next year show importers raising prices by 5%. A stronger dollar will also put further pressure on prices.
Concern over quality has been raised in the foodservice sector, where price dominates, and packers have been forced to lower their specifications to gain business.
Historically, the UK trade has demanded a higher specification than the rest of Europe, but importers say the differential is now narrowing.

Can-do campaign
Consumer interest in tinned products is at an all-time high, according to Canned Food UK.
The trade association, set up to promote canned food to consumers, is declaring 2002 a successful year.
It estimates its campaign reached more than 61 million consumers, and claims that more than 500,000 of them visited the organisation's website.
Steve Thomas, chairman of Canned Food UK, said: "We are delighted that consumer interest is being re-kindled and we are looking forward to building on the success of 2002."