Current dairy markets continue to justify a “significant” rise in milk price paid to farmers, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The association’s dairy chairperson, Stephen Arthur, said today (Tuesday, May 10) that dairy farmers are due a significant increase in April milk price.

“This is more than justified, based on the returns Irish processors are getting for dairy products. It’s vital to help dairy farmers meet the spiraling costs of inputs at farm level,” Arthur said.

Dairy processors are due to announce their prices for April milk in the coming days.

According to Arthur, a comparison between the current Ornua Purchase Price Index – equating to 54.4c/L – and the PPI for the same time last year shows an increase of 60%.

During the same period, farmer milk prices have increased by only 36%, according to IFA estimates.

“Board members of dairy processors must look at what they are paying farmers for April milk. If this is less then what Ornua is returning, then serious questions must be asked how this can be justified given the current input price challenges,” Arthur added.

Dairy markets allow ‘absolute scope’ for price rise

Arthur’s comments echo those of his opposite number in the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), who said last week that there is “absolute scope” for an increase in the processor base price for milk.

Speaking in advance of price announcements by processors for April supplies, Noel Murphy said that milk price has hit record levels each month this year due to the continuing surge in dairy markets.

“The wholesale market for milk continues to return prices in excess of 60c/L after processing costs, despite the levelling of demand for products in the last number of weeks,” he said.

Murphy noted: “Products sold during April have averaged over 63c/L for the butter/skim milk powder mix and 62c/L for whole milk powder in the Dutch dairy quotations.”