The latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction earlier this week “confirms” that Irish dairy processors and co-ops “did not stretch themselves” on October milk prices, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Commenting on this week’s GDT event, which saw the overall index increase by 1.8%, the chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, Gerald Quain, said:

“The uptick in SMP [skim milk powder] and WMP [whole milk powder] indicates increased demand for powders in China and is another sign that normal trading patterns are, fitfully, returning.”

Quain said that the overall positive trend confirmed farmers’ impression that co-ops had not “stretched themselves” in paying October milk price, possibly with one eye on an impending Brexit mess.

He said that ICMSA had called for a minimum of 32c/L and it is irritating to see so many processors below that figure.

He went on to reject the idea that any increase paid to farmer-suppliers for solids should compensate them for the non-increase in base price.

“It must be reiterated that efficiencies such as genetic gain, improved feed quality and management techniques inside the farmgate have led to this increase in solids and therefore higher average prices.

“It is not good enough to classify that as an increase in price rather than what it is: A return on investment for the numerous efficiency measures introduced and operated by the farmers themselves,” he said.