The volumes of milk powder being sold into intervention have fallen in recent weeks, according to latest figures from the European Commission.

Last month the levels of Skimmed Milk Powder in intervention breached the EU's ceiling of 218,000t since then product has been sold into the measure via a tendering process.

SMP offered into intervention at the latest round of tendering has been accepted at the fixed intervention price of €1,698/tonne.

Just over 15k tonnes were bought in for the period ending 21 June, which is less than half the volume of the previous tender.

The proposal to further increase the volume of SMP that can be bought at the fixed price to 350,000t has been endorsed by the European Commission. However, the regulation still needs to be formally adopted by the Council before it can enter into force.

Latest figures from the EU Commission show that a total of 295,000t of SMP has been offered to public intervention so far this year.

The fall in the level of product being sold into intervention in recent times comes on the back of prices for EU dairy products' generally increasing last week compared to the previous 4 weeks' average.

Latest figures from the EU milk market observatory show a 4.7% increase for butter, 4.3% for WMP, 1.4% for SMP, while cheddar decreased by 1.3%.

Meanwhile, spot milk prices also improved further last week, in Italy 27.3 c/kg and in the Netherlands 26.5 c/kg.

EU Milk production in the month of April fell by 1.1% in France and Spain, by 3.4% in the UK and by 4.15% in Ireland (though this also reflects some milk carried forwards from March 15 into April 15).

More recently, production in Germany has also started slowing: week 23 saw output down 1.7% on the same week in 2015, and 1.1% down on the previous week. April milk collections in France were down 1.1% with faster decreases into May/June. Week 24 saw a 2.5% decrease relative to the 5 year average, and 2.3% decrease relative to the same week last year.