Despite Brussels’ best efforts, dairy markets have remained well above the new lower intervention prices into August.

Downward pressure has come from export subsidies. The latest example is a 6.5% cut in the cheese export subsidy this month. Pressure has also resulted from the sale of older intervention stocks of butter and SMP at low prices.

But despite these challenges, butter prices have remained at a premium to the intervention price of 10%. Skim milk powder for human food use remains at 5% above the intervention level.

Cheddar prices remain firm. Mild cheese supplies are restricted with spot sales at up to £2,150 per tonne, £50 per tonne higher than rates for ongoing business.