The quantity of Irish butter offered to the EU’s Private Storage Aid (PSA) scheme broke the 20,000t mark last week, according to latest figures from the Milk Market Observatory.

Ireland’s use of the scheme for butter has increased significantly since May coinciding with a sharp down turn in international dairy markets over the summer.

Last week Ireland added an additional 500t of butter to its stock in the scheme taking its total offered to date to 20,492. Ireland has the second highest level of stock in private storage behind the Netherlands.

Ireland also has a significant quantity of skimmed milk powder in the EU’s PSA scheme. Ireland has at present offered over 6,500t of SMP stock to the measure with an additional 250t added last week.

The schemes for Aid to Private Storage are market support measures introduced by the EU Commission when seasonal imbalance arise between supply and demand in the butter, cream and cheese markets.

The Scheme’s aim is to facilitate producers to store these products for a stipulated storage period. At the end of the storage period the storer receives aid at a rate, which has been fixed in advance.

They are an alternative to public intervention in that the products remain the property of the stores to sell at their unrestricted discretion at the end of the storage period.


The UK recently became the fourth country to sell dairy product into intervention.

According to latest statistics from the European Commission’s Milk Market Observatory the UK in recent weeks joined Poland, Belgium, and Lithuania in using intervention when it offer just under 450t of skimmed milk powder to the scheme.

Previously, Poland and Belgium followed Lithuania’s lead in selling dairy product into intervention.

Latest figures from the Milk Market Observatory show that there is currently over 5,000t of skimmed milk powder (SMP) in public intervention with Belgium offering 1,800t and Poland 2,200t to date.

Lithuania which was the first country to use the measure since 2009 offered has offered 1,900t of (SMP) to date.