Lakeland holds milk price, amid calls from farm organisations to maintain or boost prices

Cattle in the sheds at Rory McEvoys farm near Mountmellick, Co Laois. Picture Credit:FRank Mc Grath
Cattle in the sheds at Rory McEvoys farm near Mountmellick, Co Laois. Picture Credit:FRank Mc Grath
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Lakeland is the first major dairy processor to announce its May milk price.

Speaking on the decision to hold the milk price at 31.78c/L (including VAT), chairman Alo Duffy said while global market conditions remain difficult there has been some improvement in skim markets from a record low base and butter returns continue to carry milk prices.

“After a difficult late spring, the farmer owned and controlled Lakeland Dairies Co-operative is committed to paying the maximum possible milk price to our milk suppliers.”

Glanbia is also expected to announce its May milk price today.

Farm organisations have called for co-ops to at the very least to hold April milk prices due to improved market outlook in recent weeks.

IFA dairy chairman Tom Phelan said that co-op boards meeting to consider May milk prices must leverage the improved market returns of the last number of weeks to ensure at the very minimum that the totality of the April pay-out — base price plus support —is maintained for May milk supplies. 

“Both Arla and Friesland Campina have announced June milk price increases. Arla increased by 1c/kg, which translated into a 1.15p per litre increase for UK supplier members, while Friesland Campina upped their ‘guaranteed’ price by 0.25c/kg,” Mr Phelan said.

The IFA representative stated that Friesland Campina expect European milk purchasers to increase prices further.

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Gerald Quain of ICMSA pointed out that dairy markets are continuing to improve and should translate into positive returns to dairy farmers in the coming months.

“We think the increased demand for SMP [skim milk powder] from intervention and the lack of any negative impact on price is quite significant,” Mr Quain said.  

“The speculation that the European Commission is ready to move to two sales of SMP each month shows the renewed interest and demand within the market for dairy products resulting from spring peak failing to hit the production highs expected,” he said.

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