Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 13 December 2018

Irish milk prices among lowest in Europe, survey confirms

File photo
File photo
ICMSA's Gerald Quain
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Irish milk prices were almost 2.5c/l below the average paid by 17 of Europe's top dairies for September supplies.

While the dairies surveyed paid an average of 34.69c/l, Glanbia was 2.49c/l under this figure at 32.21c/l, while Dairygold was 2.39c/l under on 32.30c/l, and Kerry was 1.26c/l below the average on 33.43c/l.

The survey was commissioned by LTO Nederland, with the prices based on milk delivered at 4.2pc fat and 3.4pc protein. Glanbia and Dairygold paid the lowest prices recorded, with Kerry 13th of the 17 processors.

The top-paying dairies were Granarolo North from Italy on 37.87c/l, Danone of France on 37.55c/l, French processor Sodiaal on 36.51c/l, and Dutch giant Friesland-Campina on 36.42c/l.

Other prices included were Britain's Dairycrest on 35.02c/l, Arla of Denmark on 34.3c/l, and Valio of Finland on 34.9c/l.

Meanwhile, the report noted that New Zealand giant Fonterra paid 28.7c/l for September supplies.

Staying with milk prices, the ICMSA has called on processors to "hold their nerve" despite the recent downturn in global dairy markets.

Slip

The association's dairy chairman, Ger Quain, pointed out that the volumes of SMP being sold out of intervention had increased significantly, while European production levels were beginning to slip.

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Tom Phelan of IFA echoed Mr Quain's views, pointing out that food-grade SMP was now trading for €1,600/t.

He said reports from farm organisations across the EU indicated that milk supplies in France were back 4-5pc in September and October, production was down 2.5pc in Holland, milk supplies were 1.45pc lower in Germany, while production also fell in Italy and Austria.

"In this context of firming powder prices, rapidly dwindling intervention stocks and lower EU supplies of milk, there are more reasons for cautious optimism than for talking down milk prices," he said.

"Co-ops can, and must, commit to holding their milk prices at least to year end."

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