A proposal to extend private storage aid (PSA) for butter and SMP will be voted on next week by the European Commission according to DairyCo.

It says PSA was initially opened for butter, SMP and certain cheeses on 5 September 2014, to alleviate some of the pressure on the market created by the Russian ban on dairy products from the EU.

While the PSA scheme for cheese closed early, PSA schemes for butter and SMP were originally intended to conclude on 31 December 2014. The newly proposed end date is 28 February 2015.

According to DairyCo with the original end date of 31 December, there were concerns that product, which can be stored in PSA for a period of 90 days to 210 days, would re-enter the market during the spring peak and add further downward pressure to wholesale prices.

It says in previous years, PSA has typically been open from 1 March to 15 August meaning most of the stocks would have been removed in advance of the spring peak, when storage capacity is in demand.

Some 8,104 tonnes of Irish butter is currently in the EU’s Private Storage Aid (PSA) scheme, according to latest figures from the European Commission. Ireland also used the PSA scheme for cheese with 7,109 tonnes in storage, according to the latest figures.

The PSA is a payment made by the European Commission to processors in return for keeping products in storage and off the market for an agreed period of time. The scheme covers butter and SMP and had also been extended to cheese.