Processors have been called upon to seriously look at increasing milk prices for August supplies by the Irish Creamery Suppliers’ Association’s (ICMSA’s) dairy chairperson Gerald Quain.

He stated that dairy processors across Europe are increasing farm-gate prices in September, after many had also paid in August.

Quain believes it is time for Irish processors to start “making up the ground” that has opened between Irish and mainland Europe prices.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “Many of the increases we saw over the last two months were in the 1c/L to 2c/L range.

Given that Irish prices were at the lower end of the European milk league for July – even after some processors had increased their prices – Irish milk co-op purchasers will have to look seriously at increasing prices if they’re even to stay on the coat tails of their European counterparts for August milk.

“Wholesale prices have picked up recently due to increased demand from Europe, as the dry weather has affected key EU member states.

“This is reflected in the ongoing strength of Dutch dairy quotes and other European quotes, which are returning almost 35c/L for the butter / skimmed milk powder (SMP) mix and 32.5c/L for whole milk powder (WMP),” Quain said.

The fact that just under 31,500t of SMP intervention stocks were sold off in the most recent tender show that there is demand in the market for powder, he added.

Concluding, Quain said: “The market could be described as ‘positively steady’ and this should be reflected in August milk prices returned to the farm-gate.

“The ICMSA always believes that the Ornua Purchase Price Index (PPI) is the minimum starting point for all price announcements and that’s the base on which we’ll be looking at price announcements for August milk over the coming weeks.”