The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, announced the aggregate results of the 15th Milk Quota Trading Scheme, which in effect was the second last trading scheme of the milk quota regime. This is the first of the two schemes that will allocate quota in respect of the final milk quota year 2014/2015.

According to the department, a total of 30.8 million litres of milk quota was offered for sale under the scheme, with 28.9 million litres successfully traded. Of this total, 19.9 million litres was sold on the exchange at prices ranging from three to 26 cent per litre with the remaining nine million litres being sold through the priority pool at the maximum price of three cent per litre.

Commenting on the outcome, the minister said “Based on the significant volumes that continue to be traded successfully, it is evident that the Milk Quota Trading Scheme is still regarded by farmers as a valuable mechanism for those wishing to purchase or dispose of milk quota. We see that almost 94 per cent of the volume offered for sale was traded, however this satisfied just about 21 per cent of the volume sought. The continuing demand for quota is further evidence of the confidence in the expansion in the dairy sector in the run up to quota abolition in 2015.”

The minister also referred to the current quota situation. “Having just received the latest estimated quota position it shows that the total volume of milk supplies up to the end of November 2013, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, is now running at about 1.38 per cent over quota. This compares to 0.9 per cent over quota at end October and being 3.36 per cent under quota this time last year.”

The minister again stressed that it remains critically important that individual milk producers continue to manage their enterprises having regard to the quota situation until the expiry of the milk quota regime on the 31 March 2015.

Milk producers should also note that the final 0.75 per cent quota increase was applied on the 1 April 2013 and that no further quota increases are planned for the final year of the quota regime, the department noted.

The minister also reminded suppliers that they should only sell their milk through their usual purchaser in compliance with the Milk Quota Regulations and that to sell through any other channels is an offence.

Concluding, the minister thanked the co-ops once for their co-operation in the implementation of the trading scheme.