Cheddar supplies are running short, according to industry statistics.
This is mainly due to the low levels of UK and Irish milk output since January, which have led to major cuts in Cheddar output so far this year.
In the quarter to March, according to the latest Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs milk utilisation figures, milk used for making Cheddar in England & Wales dropped by 7% compared with last year. March output is down by 10.5%.
Falling production reduced public coldstore stocks of Cheddar to just over 6,000 tonnes at the end of March, the lowest for that month since records were first published in March 1993. Market reports also indicate competitively priced Continental sources have largely dried up with little available from Australia and New Zealand.
The mild Cheddar market is firmer and virtually no cheese is available at below £2100 per tonne. Mature Cheddar prices are higher, restoring traditional differentials over mild cheese to at least £400 per tonne.