Farm Ireland

Monday 11 December 2017

Co-ops roll in behind June milk price hike

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

CO-OP boards across the country have followed the example set by Kerry, Glanbia and Town of Monaghan and have increased the prices paid for June milk supplies.

Arrabawn has confirmed that it will increase milk price for June supplies by 1c/l to 34c/l including VAT.

While the board of Lakeland decided to add just 0.5c/l to its June prices, this still put the co-op ahead of most others on 34.25c/l including VAT.

Tipperary Co-op board members added 1c/l to bring its price to 34c/l for June supplies.

Dairygold suppliers will have to wait until later this week for the announcement on whether milk price in their co-op will be increased.


Some industry sources have speculated that the decision from Kerry to increase the June milk price had more to do with internal Kerry Co-op politics than with market returns.

The Kerry Co-op also decided to backdate further payments for April and May.

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Kerry Co-op shareholders are due to meet tomorrow for the first of two key votes on proposals to allow Kerry Co-op to reduce its shareholding in Kerry Group Plc below the current 20pc threshold. However, regardless of its original intent, the Kerry move has prompted a wave of similar price increases across the country.

Irish Farmers' Association national dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey welcomed the increases announced so far and called on other co-ops to follow suit with their prices, citing strong global prices.

"It has been clear for some time that sustained strong EU and global dairy market prices justified a small additional milk price increase.

"Especially for those co-ops involved in butter and/or powders," he said.


Meanwhile, new figures released by the European Commission show that Ireland lies in 15th place in a league of the 27 countries within the EU for milk prices.

Figures from DG Agri in Brussels show the average milk price paid in Ireland in April this year was 32.15c/l.

This was almost 20c/l less than the milk price paid to suppliers in Cyprus, who get 52.1c/l.

Irish dairy farmers get 13c/l less than farmers in Malta, who received 45.09c/l.

However, the Irish price was 3.26c/l higher than the average paid to farmers in Britain.

They received just 28.89c/l and came in bottom of the table in 27th place.

The top five milk producing countries (in volume terms) of Germany, France, Britain and Italy had a combined average price of 33.6c/l for the month of April.

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