Sales of subsidised butter to the food, bakery and ice cream industries continued to gain ground according to EU figures.

So far this year, up to mid-November, subsidies have been granted on 440,000 tonnes, nearly 6%, or 24,000 tonnes higher than last year.

With an annual total likely to be nearly half a million tonnes, this market will account for virtually 30% of all sales of butter within the EU this year.