Canadian Dairy Commission
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Support Prices

The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) annually reviews and establishes support prices for butter and skim milk powder for the year to come. Support prices are the prices at which the CDC purchases and sells butter and skim milk powder within the framework of its various programs. Provincial milk marketing boards and agencies use support prices as a reference to determine the price paid by processors for the portion of the milk that is used in the production of butter, skim milk powder, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products. (Further details on the different mechanisms used to calculate the price that processors pay for milk can be obtained from the provincial marketing boards and agencies.) Processors, taking into account all the factors that affect their own production costs, then set the prices of dairy products. Finally, distributors and retailers decide how they will pass on any increases in the price of dairy products to consumers.

Each year, the CDC, in collaboration with the provinces, undertakes a national study of the cost of producing milk at the farm (COP study). In the fall, the CDC also holds consultations on milk prices with dairy producers, processors, further processors, restaurateurs and consumers. The CDC Commissioners then make a decision on the support prices which is usually announced by mid-December and becomes effective on February 1st of the following year.

The CDC Commissioners base support prices on the following elements: results of the cost of production study, arguments presented by various stakeholders, an evaluation of the processors' margin, economic indicators such as the consumer price index as well as their own experience and knowledge of the industry.

Support Prices ($/kg)
Year Butter Skim Milk Powder   (SMP)
2018 (Sept.) 8.3901 4.5302
2016 (Sept.) 8.0062 4.5302
2016 (Feb.) 7.7815 4.4176
2015 7.4046 6.3109
 2014 7.4046 6.4754
 2013  7.3379 6.4170
 2012  7.2810  6.3673
 2011  7.1922  6.2721
 2010  7.1024  6.1783
 2009  7.1024  6.1783
 2008 (Sept.)  7.0462  6.1125
 2008 (Feb.)  6.9316  5.9835
 2007  6.8695  5.9212
 2006  6.8695  5.8337
 2005  6.8695  5.7282
 2004  6.2968  5.3928
 2003  6.1061  5.1966
 2002  5.9011  4.9859
 2001  5.7261  4.8394
 2000  5.5407  4.6842