Offers of SMP to intervention pick-up from Ireland and other Member States

Ireland offered 1,054t of skimmed milk powder (SMP) into the public intervention system last week, the latest figures from the EU Milk Market Observatory (MMO) show.

In total last week, some 8,849t of SMP was offered to the measure. This brings the total quantities in intervention to 229,365t.

Since January 1 this year, Ireland has offered 28,378t of SMP to the measure at fixed-price and 6,324t via tender.

For the week previous, there was a drop off in the number of countries offering SMP to intervention, with Ireland offering none.

This week’s increase in quantities to the measure comes as as new rules came into force two weeks ago which saw the intervention ceiling increase from 218,000t to 350,000t.

Including the quantities bought-in at fixed price and via tender, the total SMP volumes stand as 307,891t.

Ahead of next week’s EU meeting of Agricultural Ministers where a new EU dairy package is to be announced, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, has said that the public intervention system will have to be looked at in the new package.

He also said that the European Commission is looking at how it could incentivise farmers to cut their milk production in order to combat the oversupply on dairy markets, through Article 222.

There isn’t any point in incentivising countries to produce more at a time when we have to produce less.

“Ireland is one of the countries who have produced more since the beginning of the year with a significant amount of extra tonnage of milk.

‘I’m told it’s all for third country markets but the evidence is not there judging by the amount we put into intervention.”

Commissioner Hogan also said that the small producers around Europe who have had a dramatic reduction in their income are on the verge of going out of the business.

“So, we have to see if there’s enough financial resources that apply to them to keep them in business.”

This latest dairy package to combat the crisis in the sector will be the third package since September 2015.