Are Irish dairy farmers being short changed on milk prices?
According to the Irish Farmers Association, there is scope for further increases in milk prices in the coming months.
IFA National Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary says that Irish co-ops have increased their milk prices by an average of 5.5c/L in the last five months, however he also highlights that over the same period, two of the largest European co-ops, Arla and Friesland Campina, increased their prices by 7.5c/kg and 12.5c/kg respectively.
“With dairy markets remaining strong, there is scope for further milk price increases for Irish dairy farmers for this month’s milk and the coming months’,” O’Leary said.
He also says that continued milk price increases have improved the confidence of Irish dairy farmers coming up to Christmas, but many bills remain to be paid, and cash flow concerns remain a top preoccupation.
He said he was optimistic for the 2017 dairy market outlook, but bearing in mind the financial pressures still on farms, he urged dairy farmers to prepare early in January to fully utilise the new SBCI/state funded low cost (2.95pc) cash flow loans IFA pressed for, which Minister Creed has stated will become available from the pillar banks and other lenders early in January.
These will allow farmers to convert merchant credit, superlevy and other bills and make them more manageable.
“The outlook for dairy and milk prices in 2017 is positive, with global milk supplies unlikely to increase in response to improved milk prices over the medium term.