Farmers “will not tolerate processors playing down” the milk price – with the rise in commodity prices based on the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) index “equivalent to a farmgate price of over 40c/L for farmers”, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said.

IFA Dairy Committee chairman Stephen Arthur said co-ops cannot ignore the trends in the latest GDT auction, which has recorded a dramatic jump in commodity prices.

The auction, which concluded earlier today (Tuesday, March 2), resulted in an overall index increase of 15%.

Reacting to this, Arthur said:

This rise in commodity prices is equivalent to a farmgate price of over 40c/L for farmers. Movements south of the equator point to a very positive outlook in milk price for 2021.

“As we approach peak, we will not tolerate processors playing down the price. There is plenty of scope for milk price to rise in the next few months,” he said.

Pointing to the euro values of today’s results, the chairman noted that the major highlight from today’s auction was the 21% jump in whole milk powders to €3,625.

Butter is up by 13.7% to €4,839, while prices for cheese showed modest growth of 1.3% to €3,555, he said, adding:

There has been a surge in dairy imports by China, matched with weaker than expected milk supplies from New Zealand and Australia leading to tighter supplies in the Southern hemisphere.

Co-ops cannot ignore this, Arthur concluded.