We have crested the wave of a bad dairy pricing period – Kerry boss

World dairy prices should pick up in 2017, the CEO of Kerry Stan McCarthy is predicting, although he said any optimism about prices within the sector should be tempered.

Speaking at Kerry’s interim results in Dublin today, where the company announced total Group revenue of €3 billion and an interim dividend per share of 16.8c, he had good news for dairy farmers.

The dairy sector, he said, has been through a tough cycle one that has been ongoing since May 2014 as imports to China fell and global supply increased, resulting in a bad period for pricing. But, he said, he thinks the industry has crested the wave of bad prices, as a result of cutbacks in production and EU intervention, along with the somewhat increased demand from China.

However, he warned that there is still glut of dairy inventories across the world and until that disappears and supply and demand are back in equilibrium.

“Optimism needs to be tempered as it is only temporary measures at play. There is still a lot of milk around the globe. But it could not get any worse than the back half of 2015 and 2016.

“I would see a pick up in 2017.”

McCarthy also said that Brexit will have an impact on Irish exports, due to the reliance of Ireland on it as a market and the challenges sterling fluctuations present.