Milk price outlook 'very positive' says co-op boss
Average prices for 2018 could hit 34.5c/litre, predicts Arrabawn CEO
Milk price cuts may not be finished but they are close to bottoming out.
That was the verdict from Arrabawn CEO, Conor Ryan at the co-op's AGM last week where he told suppliers that he was "encouraged" by the turn around in the butter market - he was optimistic that the society could return a milk price average for 2017 within 3 to 3.5 c/l of the record payout to suppliers last year.
"Over the last few weeks we have been encouraged by the growth in the price of butter where we see the price recovering and I can see the future from May onwards being very positive." Arrabawn is projecting an average milk price of 34-34.5 c/l for 2018, said Mr Ryan.
It paid an average of 37.45 c/l for milk in 2017, with butterfat at 4.11pc and protein of 3.45pc.
"We are not saying that the changes in milk price are finished, but, certainly we feel that we are nearly there."
Milk intake at Arrabawn has increased for each of the past three years, following the ending of milk quotas, with growth in the dairy division up 30pc.
Mr Ryan said that the growth in supplier production will continue in 2018 at a slower rate of between 2pc and 4pc, but one of the challenges ahead of the society is to ensure capacity for continued expansion.
The society estimates that further capital investment of up to €30m in processing and associated facilities will be required over the next two years.