11,194t of Irish butter placed in private storage under APS

Irish dairy processors have availed of the European Commission’s Aids to Private Storage (APS) scheme to place 11,194t of butter into private storage over the past month.

Following the opening of the scheme on Thursday, May 7, up to last Monday, June 8, Irish processors took up the APS option – with more than half of this, some 5,665t of butter, placed in storage on the first week of the scheme.

This makes Ireland the member state with the second highest amount of butter in storage, behind only the Netherlands, which has placed some 17,593t into storage. Germany was the member state with the third highest amount, with 11,125t of butter in storage.

Ireland’s allocation accounts for some 22.3% of the total amount placed into private storage by EU member states, which came to a combined total of 50,213t.

On the flip side of things, Irish processors did not place any skim milk powder (SMP) into private storage, with numbers taking up this option relatively modest – amounting to a combined total of 11,194t across all member states.

Finally, Irish processors placed 2,180t of cheese into private storage – which was 100% of Ireland’s allocation under the cheese category. This was filled on the first week of the programme, on the week of May 7.

Conversely, across the EU member states, only 43% of the overall cheese category was filled as of last week, ending Sunday, June 14, amounting to 43,085t out of the 100,000t quota.

Applications under the scheme are made by processors, through national authorities (in Ireland’s case the Department of Agriculture), and then on to the European Commission in Brussels. The last day for the submission of applications will be June 30.

Irish efforts

It is understood that Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) is working with the European Dairy Association (EDA) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland to request an extension in the time limit for the private storage aid scheme.

If successful, this would see an extension towards the end of the summer, which would help to avoid a scenario of butter exiting the storage in one block.

In addition, DII is seeking for the EU to allow free allocation of the unused 57% of the cheese allocation under the private storage scheme.

This would allow countries which have already filled their quotas, such as Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Latvia, Spain and the UK, to fill the unused quotas of cheese for storage.