Base milk price gap stretches to €12,000
The divergence in prices being paid by co-ops to milk suppliers has reached "unsustainable proportions", the ICMSA has warned.
It estimates that at current prices, there would be a €12,000 annual difference in base prices between the top and bottom paying co-ops for a 350,000l supplier.
The ICMSA's Gerald Quain said all co-ops should base their milk price on paying at the minimum Ornua PPI, but some lag behind it by up to 1.5c/l, while others are ahead by 2c/l. The current PPI level is the equivalent of 32.2c/l.
Mr Quain acknowledged that the base prices did not include the various bonuses and co-op payments paid by various buyers.
Lakeland Dairies has held its milk price at 32.06c/l, inclusive of VAT and lactose bonus.
A Lakeland spokesman said: "The European Market has weakened both for skim milk powder and butter in recent weeks. This is compounded by Brexit uncertainty which is having a negative effect on European prices".
Glanbia yesterday set its February milk price at 31.5c/l, including VAT. Glanbia Ireland will pay a base price of 30c/l and an interim market payment of 1c/l, including VAT, on all February milk supplies.
Glanbia Chairman Martin Keane said Brexit uncertainty has led to short term changes in purchasing patterns.