1,600 bid for milk quotas ahead of axe
Published 23/01/2013 | 06:00
Over 1,600 farmers have applied to buy milk quota for 2013/2014 in the dying days of the current regime.
Figures released by the Department of Agriculture show that even though quotas will disappear in 2015, demand to buy them is outstripping supply by eight to one.
Some 200 farmers have notified the Department of Agriculture that they wish to sell quota in the February round of the milk quota exchange, while 1,600 are lining up to buy it.
The strong demand for quota is even more puzzling, given that the milk supply figures for the 2012/2013 indicate the Ireland is on track to finish on or under quota.
Ireland was 3.73pc under quota as of December 31, 2012, compared to 0.08pc under quota at the same time in 2011.
ICMSA dairy chairman Pat McCormack said it was likely that the farmers were attempting to buy quota to ensure they would avoid any superlevy in the milk years 2013/14 and 2014/15. "In a 'normal' weather year and with milk prices at a reasonable level, Ireland will be under serious pressure to stay under quota, so farmers are probably taking the opportunity to purchase additional quota to reduce their exposure," he added.
Meanwhile, Connacht Gold has increased its December milk price by 1c/l.
This increase comes on the back of further positive prices at last week's Fonterra auction that sold product forward up to July 2013.
"The two Fonterra auctions this month showed increases in the trading price of many commodities, especially butteroil (AMF), casein, whole and skimmed milk powder.
"Protein concentrates and cheese prices have remained quite firm," said the IFA's dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey.
"Rabobank has also flagged firm markets for the first half of the year, because of continued constrained supplies in the northern hemisphere, a slower end of season in New Zealand, and falling inventories forcing buyers back out," Mr Kiersey added.