Farm Ireland

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Butter boom brings in extra €100m

Irish butter production is running 12pc ahead of last year
Irish butter production is running 12pc ahead of last year

Increased butter production has delivered close to €100m in additional revenue for Irish dairies so far this year.

CSO figures show that Irish butter production is running 12pc ahead of last year as processors take advantage of booming demand and exceptional prices.

Total butter production to the end of the August stood at 161,000t compared to 144,000t for the same period in 2016.

The additional 17,000t is worth around €100m to processors given that markets are returning close to €6,500/t for butter at the moment and have been paying in excess of €5,500/t since the start of the year. Overall butter production for the January to August period was up 27,000t or 17pc on 2015.

The continued buoyancy in global butter markets has seen prices more than double since the summer of last year when it was trading at €3,000/t.

The CSO data also confirms the continued surge in overall milk supplies. Creamery intakes in August were up 11.2pc on 2016 levels at almost 780m litres.

In other dairy news, former Department of Agriculture secretary general, Tom Moran is to head up a Teagasc stakeholder group to address on-farm labour shortages in the dairy sector.

"A lot of work has already been undertaken by my Department, Teagasc and industry in relation to this matter, and the establishment of this group under a very experienced chairman will bring a new focus to these efforts," said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.

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However, IFA dairy chairman Sean O'Leary called on the Government to allow farmers the flexibility to recruit staff from abroad, including outside the EU and the EEA.

Teagasc estimate that 6,000 new entrants will be needed in the dairy sector nationally over the next decade to replace retirees and provide labour for expanding herds.

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