Morrisons has blamed soaring commodity prices after increasing the price of four pints of milk by more than 25%.

The increase, from £1.18 to £1.49, restores the Morrisons price to the level it was at 12 months ago, prior to a move by all the mults, led by Asda last October in response to competition from discounters such as Aldi, Lidl and Iceland.

Introduced on Monday (8 October), the price increase will apply across all its standard branded milk - including whole, semi, skimmed and 1% fat milk. But a spokesman pointed out that the retailer would still be competitive. “We’re facing some commodity price increases, but customers looking for a single four-pinter will still get one of the cheapest prices with our Meadow Park brand.” Under the tertiary brand, Morrisons is offering four pints for £1, as well as a multi-save deal of three for £3 on its standard milk.

“We hope the multibuy deal will help to drive higher milk volumes, which will help farmers,” the spokesman added.

Morrisons was one of several retailers forced to pay higher prices to its dairy farmers this summer, after soaring costs, combined with plunging global dairy commodity prices, led to widespread protests.

With supply now tightening, commodity prices are creeping back up, leading to speculation that other retailers will follow suit. As The Grocer went to press, however, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and The Co-operative Group were still selling four-pint bottles of standard milk for £1.18, with Asda matching discounters at £1.