Processors hold prices in volatile milk market
All the main dairy processors are holding milk prices for March supplies.
In a welcome boost for dairy farmers, Dairygold, Lakelands, Kerry, Aurivo and Arrabawn all confirmed that their March milk prices remain unchanged.
Kerry and Dairygold are holding on a base of 30c/l (including VAT), while Lakelands remained on 30.53c/l, Aurivo on 31.9c/l and Arrabawn on 32.05c/l. Lisavaird held on a base of 31.64c/l, while Tipperary Co-op is paying 30.5c/l.
Last week Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) announced that it was holding its base milk price for March, April and May at 30.5c/l, albeit with the support of Glanbia Co-op.
GII actually cut its base price to 29.5c/l for March. However, Glanbia Co-op stated that it would support the base at 30.5c/l for the three months "in the absence of any significant unforeseen circumstances."
The GII move could put pressure on all processors to hold prices to May at least. There were suggestions that co-ops were preparing to pull prices in April but this may not now be an option given the continuing battle to hold suppliers in the post-quota era.
The last two months has seen significant movement of suppliers between dairies, particularly across the south, with milk price and contract conditions being cited by dairy farmers as the main reasons for changing processors.