Business Farming

Monday 26 September 2016

Egypt to reopen for live exports

Darragh McCullough and Colm Kelpie

Published 16/02/2016 | 02:30

Egypt has traditionally been a strong market for animals from the dairy herd.
Egypt has traditionally been a strong market for animals from the dairy herd.

Egypt has reopened its doors to live exports from Ireland following an inspection by their veterinary authorities here last week.

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The news will be viewed by many dairy farmers as a boost, since it has traditionally been a strong market for animals from the dairy herd.

The ICMSA's livestock chairman, Michael Guinan, said that farmers desperately needed to see more progress on live exports as fears grew over the surge in numbers this autumn.

He claimed that dairy farmers would be unable to cope with the double-whammy of falling beef prices and one of the lowest milk prices in recent years.

While Glanbia held its January milk price at 24c/l plus 1c/l bonus for members, Lakeland Dairies offered 25.5c/l, with a lactose bonus of 0.28c/l.

Lakeland held its milk price for the backend of 2015 at 26.53c/l, including lactose bonus and VAT.

Meanwhile Ornua confirmed last week that their purchasing index had fallen to a new record low of 85.7, equivalent to 24.2c/l.

The dairy board believes that milk price will drop below 24c/l, and that a recovery was unlikely this year. "We're in an oversupply situation and we have been for nearly the last year," Anne Randles, company secretary and director of administration at Ornua, told the Exort Leadership Forum in Dublin.

"Unfortunately for this moment in time we don't see any real recovery, certainly for the first six months and I think we'll be lucky to see some recovery in the second six months of the year.

"So I think we're going to have a difficult time in terms of low dairy prices and what we can pay the farmer."

Ms Randles added that milk prices could dip further in the coming months.

"It'll [prices] probably dip a bit below 24 but I am hopeful it wouldn't go anywhere near the 21 support price," she said.

"There is no indication out there that would give us much confidence that there would be a significant recovery in the second half of 2016.

"It's a supply issue and that supply either needs to stop or demand needs to grow, and it does take time," she said.

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