Coronavirus situation ‘should not be allowed’ to affect February milk price

While appreciating the real impact of the coronavirus Covid 19, it is clear that international traders “would seek to overplay it for commercial leverage”, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Giving his reaction to the current situation, IFA National Dairy Committee chairman Tom Phelan said:

“This should not be allowed affect February milk price decisions negatively – especially when the wet and stormy 2020 calving season is increasing costs and workload for farmers.

Recent milk price decisions by Fonterra and Arla among others suggest that modest growth of global milk supplies continued to underpin their price expectations.

“Legitimate global concerns over the spread of Covid19 impact all trade, but Fonterra – more affected than most by trading difficulties in China – have maintained their price and dividend guidance for 2019/20 at NZ$7-7.60/kg MS and 15-25c/kg MS respectively,” Phelan said.

“Arla has increased its March milk price by 1c/kg, while Friesland Campina’s March price is 0.5c/kg above their January level,” the chairman added.

“I urge co-ops to support farmers in this long, wet and stormy spring calving season, and ensure they get the February milk price increase which Irish and European indicators suggest remains fully justified,” the dairy committee chairman concluded.

Milk processors will be deciding their February prices in the coming weeks.