Dairy processors are again being called on to pay their farmer suppliers in line with global market trends, which the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) says are showing “improved sentiment”.

Tom Phelan, the association’s dairy chairperson, said the 2.7% increase for skimmed milk powder in the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction – which was held today, Tuesday, October 1 – was “further proof” of the strong condition of international dairy markets.

He added that last week’s announcement by Aurivo of a one-year fixed milk price scheme at 31.41c/L including VAT was another indication that “there were more positive market signals out there than suggested by August milk prices”.

The latest fixed milk price scheme announcement, in line with today’s further GDT price increase, suggests greater positivity in market sentiment than the prices announced by some of our main co-ops for August milk.

“Brexit is undoubtedly a serious concern, but there is mounting evidence from analysts like Rabobank and reports from the EU Commission, the European Dairies Association (EDA), Eucolait and others to suggest that low levels of supplies, lower than normal private powder stocks, and strong, if regionally variable, demand will sustain firmer dairy prices well into 2020,” the IFA chairman argued.

“Co-ops must: recognise that markets are looking better for the months ahead; stop using Brexit to talk down milk prices when other European milk purchasers are holding theirs; and set out plans to, at the very worst, sustain current milk prices through to spring,” Phelan concluded.