The “rally” evident in the latest spot prices has been described as “further evidence of what the price sleight-of-hand” employed by processors and co-ops in setting price for August milk”.

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association’s (ICMSA’s) dairy chairperson, Ger Quain, has said: “It was obvious that markets were rallying and are beginning to move upwards as the latest global supply data is absorbed into long-term forecasting”.

Despite both of these, most co-ops followed ‘the usual suspects’ in cutting milk price paid to farmers for last month’s milk.

Speaking at ‘Ploughing 2019’ Quain said he was “struck” by how many had shared his own suspicion that certain co-ops had availed of the confusion and disruption in the beef sector to smuggle through the milk price cuts while farmers were distracted.

He also noted “the air of uncertainty that many co-ops were trying to build around the dairy markets despite the hard facts that were there for anyone who wanted to see.

Butter and SMP mix price has rebounded to over 30.5c/L in the latest Dutch dairy quotations, while WMP is above 33c/L and the Ornua PPI is at 30.8c/L.

Concluding, Quain said: “I really don’t know who they [milk processors] think they’re fooling – I don’t think that they can really believe it themselves – and they’re certainly not fooling the farmers.”