Milk producers face an even smaller milk cheque this month, with the new selling arrangements in place not to mention superlevy bills. The base figure for these rates is the Intervention Milk Price Equivalent (IMPE) ­ down to 16.049ppl. There is no chance of it going back up until sterling weakens. With the spring flush starting, the market is soft and likely to stay that way for most of the season. Bulk cream for buttermaking is little over 80p a litre, about 20% down on what traders would regard as a normal price. The rate is so low one trader was heard to wonder if there would not be a physical shortage of producers and milk by the autumn. The milk quota market has shown a short term lift on clean' quota to get through the last quota year, but forward leasing prices are more than a third down on the same week last year. {{PROVISIONS }}

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