Over half of EU intervention scheme volumes have been filled

Over half of the EU public intervention scheme volumes have been filled by Member States in the past eight weeks, the latest figures from the Milk Market Observatory (MMO) shows.

Last week (ending February 28), Member States offered 54,522t of Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) to the measure.

Under the intervention scheme, operators in the dairy sector can offer SMP to the measure at fixed prices up to a limit of 109,000t.

Now, just over half of that limit has been reached. If that 109,000t limit is met, purchases continue through a tender system.

To date, Ireland has offered 4,755t of SMP to intervention and some 208t was offered last week.

Ireland has already surpassed the amount offered to the measure in 2015, some 1,843t, and a total amount of 40,280t of SMP was offered by Member States into intervention in 2015.

Private Storage Aid

Ireland has also began offering butter back into Private Storage Aid (PSA) after offering 19,379t to the measure in 2015. Last week some 220t was offered by Ireland to the measure.

Like public intervention, PSA is a traditional market management measure to reduce oversupply on the EU market and thereby help prices to recover.

However, with PSA the European Commission only helps cover the costs of storage and only for a limited period (normally three to six months), after which the product (which still belongs to the operator) comes back on to the market.