Farm organisations to call for 1c/L hike in milk prices

There is a strong possibility that the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) will call on the dairy co-ops to increase milk prices by 1c/L this month.

“We will make a final decision on the matter tomorrow,” said the organisation’s Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary.

“The price increases recorded at this week’s Global Dairy Trade event in New Zealand are encouraging.

We are now seeing a stronger trend developing, where world dairy markets are concerned. And this is good news for Irish dairy farmers.

O’Leary said that the stabilisation in skimmed milk powder prices, recorded in both New Zealand and Europe over recent weeks, is particularly encouraging.

“This is an extremely positive development, given that the Irish dairy industry is about to reach peak milk output.”

ICMSA President John Comer agrees with this analysis.

“Both market sentiment and actual demand are increasing and I see no reason why the co-ops cannot increase milk prices by at least 1c/L this month,” he said.

“They should also recognise that many Irish dairy farmers are still dealing with legacy debt problems that had built up during the recent crisis.”

Meanwhile, EU wholesale markets weakened in April for most products, with the exception of butter and whey powder.

Cheese prices dropped compared to the previous month for all reported varieties, with Cheddar and Edam showing the largest fall in average price. Powders, however, are still in oversupply, with no sales of intervention stocks yet again at the latest tender.

As such, prices are struggling to rise much above the intervention price of €1,698/t.

Demand for cheese and butter is reported to have remained strong. Better producer prices have improved levels of milk availability.

Milk production in the EU has risen seasonally, although the return of cold weather in Germany has impacted on deliveries from that country in the second half of April.