Irish butter prices on a slippery slope
Butter prices are lagging behind Dutch quotes by €880 a tonne as global demand for dairy fats remains buoyant.
Dutch dealers are quoting butter at €6,800 a tonne compared to €3,500 a year ago - a 94pc rise
Whole milk powder has also risen 35pc from €2,300 to €3,100 a tonne, while the intervention measures for skimmed milk powder have helped steady that market.
With the strengthening of the dairy market, the ICMSA's Gerald Quain said there was a "hugely concerning gap" opening up between Irish dairy prices and those of mainland EU producers.
"Ireland is currently only in 12th position of the EU in terms of milk price," said Mr Quain, noting that Fonterra, who are geared towards commodity prices, are paying more than Irish co-ops.
"The internal market price of butter within the EU presently shows Irish butter prices lagging Dutch quotes by a staggering €880 per tonne."
He pointed out the latest EU Milk Market Observatory report also placed Irish butter prices at €200 per tonne below the EU average.
"How can such a disparity exist when Irish produce is of the highest possible quality and traceability through the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme and a global brand leader in the form of Kerrygold butter?" he questioned.