The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has said that it expects an upward trend in milk price to continue, following the announcement of Lakeland Dairies’ price this afternoon (Thursday, January 13).

Earlier, Lakeland officially set its milk price offering to farmer suppliers for December milk, opting to increase its price by 0.5c/L in the Republic of Ireland.

This will bring the price here to 40c/L including VAT and a lactose bonus, for milk at 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, Lakeland has increased its milk by 0.4p/L to 31.9p/L.

Reacting to these prices, ICMSA dairy chairperson Noel Murphy welcomed the Lakeland decision, and said that he believes “there is still more available from the current market”.

“[We] believe that all milk purchasers should be paying in excess of 40c/L for December milk as the dairy market data clearly shows that a price in excess of that figure is fully justified,” he argued.

Murphy added: “The breaking of the 40c/L ceiling is indicative of a trend that we expect to continue through at least the first half of 2022.

“ICMSA hopes and expects that the Lakeland announcement will be followed by other milk processors recognising market realities and increasing their price to farmer suppliers for December milk.”

“The other co-ops are due to set their milk price in the coming week and the onus is now very firmly on them to follow the Lakeland announcement with matching announcements of their own,” Murphy highlighted.

“[We] also expect positive responses on our call for a bonus on all milk produced in 2021,” he concluded.

Lakeland said in a statement this afternoon (Thursday, January 13): “Global dairy markets are relatively strong with a general balance in supply and demand worldwide and strong demand in Asia.

“The recent global surge in the new variant of Covid-19 has had a moderating effect on economic activity across every continent, including disruption and restrictions which have affected normal global trading patterns and market trends over several weeks,” it added.

“Lakeland Dairies will continue to monitor the market,” the statement concluded.