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Cheese and butter prices, from February 15 increase up to 37% in minority markets
Major dairy processing companies have notified all retail outlets that, starting February 15, new supplies of butter and cheese will be priced up to 37% higher.
According to the attached list that the companies have sent to the retail outlets, the biggest increase is experienced by cheese and butter mainly produced from sheep's milk.
Sources from milk processing companies claimed that this increase was applied due to the increase in the price of milk from farmers by almost 50 percent.
It is about sheep's milk, where the processing factory, one of the largest in the country, said that they are buying 1 liter of milk for 160 Lek from the previous 110.
But farmers who are in the same area as the factory that raised the price claimed that the last milk price change was in September 2022.
Rolandi, who has a farm with over 300 sheep in the Berat area, said that he is selling 1 liter of milk from the sheep for about 110 Lek to the factories.
The price of dairy cattle went to this level at the beginning of last autumn and the factories have reflected it in the increase they have applied later in October.
A liter of cow's milk without VAT is currently sold for 75 Lek from large farms, while from small farmers with less than 15 head no more than 55 Lek. While sheep's milk in large farms is seen at 110 Lek per liter and in small ones no more than 80 Lek.
Most of the farmers who have small farms and who are the main suppliers of the processing plants sell at a much lower price due to the limited amount of production.
The livestock sector, the largest branch of Albanian agriculture, is going through a difficult period due to the reduction in the number of heads. The abandonment of the village by internal and external emigration has significantly reduced the population in the village, which is leading to the rapid decline of small farms with animals with one to five heads.
The large animal breeding stables found it difficult to survive due to the rising costs of feed, which is largely imported from abroad.
Weaknesses in production have caused dairy prices to rise at unusual rates in the past two years. Last year, milk processing companies increased retail prices for milk and its products in several waves.
INSTAT reported that in December 2022, the prices of milk and dairy by-products were about 25% higher than in December 2021. Dairy was the group with the highest increase in food prices.
Cattle breeders reported that milk prices will increase during the following month due to increased demand in conditions where there is no increase in production./ Monitor