Despite some milk prices now stretching to more than 30p per litre (ppl), NFU Scotland says that Scotland's dairy farmers are still being short-changed.

Milk buyer Muller has taken its headline figure for November to 30.5ppl and First Milk in Scotland are to pay 28.59ppl in October. Arla is paying just over 31ppl, Lactalis 28.5ppl and Grahams 29.75ppl, according to listed prices. However, spot prices for milk now stand at 40ppl or more and the current strength in dairy markets, combined with market indicators are not being reflected in the prices dairy farmers are currently being offered claims the Union.

Following a meeting of NFUS Milk Committee this week in Edinburgh, the Union's milk policy manager George Jamieson said: "Commodity market indicators for milk powder, cheese and butter have more than doubled from the disastrous lows of summer 2016 to 40ppl in late summer 2017. These are record highs for market indicators but they are some considerable distance from being reflected in record highs at the farm-gate.

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"Milk prices paid to farmers struggled to 26 or 27ppl in January 2017 and only now are some farmers seeing 30ppl. Given the disastrous prices farmers had to endure through 2015 and 2016, this is surely a time when very legitimate, justifiable milk price increases should be coming down the supply chain."

Mr Jamieson went on: "AHDB Dairy costings indicate that for the top 25 per cent of dairy producers, their cost of production is 26.8ppl. It also tells us that the average milk price over five years is 27.5ppl."

Market round-up

United Auctions sold 457 store heifers at Stirling on Wednesday to average 204.3p per kg (+4p on the week) and 711 store, beef-bred bullocks to level at 216.8p (+3.6p). Thirty store, B&W bullocks averaged 138.4p (-0.5p).

C&D Auction Marts sold 9 prime heifers in Dumfries on Wednesday to a top of 234p and an average of 207p, while a couple of prime bullocks peaked at 219p and levelled at 214p.

In the rough ring 55 beef cows averaged 124p and 37 dairy cows levelled at 95.6p.

The firm also sold 940 prime lambs to a top of £87.50 per head and 183p per kg to average 172p (+10.8p).

A large show of 729 cast sheep saw heavy ewes average £58.39 and light/export type ewes level at £29.11.

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 871 prime lambs in Newton Stewart on Wednesday to a top of £88.50 and 203.6p to average 164p (+6p).

There were also 123 heavy cast ewes forward that averaged £57.65 and 188 light ewes that levelled at £34.16.