Estimates vary over size of superlevy bill
Dairy farmers are facing a potential superlevy bill of some €8.5m, based on the latest quota analysis from ICOS.
The country is on track to finish the 2011/2012 milk quota year 35m litres (0.6pc) over quota.
The latest ICOS analysis of milk supplies, based on 95pc of the national milk pool, indicates that Ireland will finish 35m litres over quota on March 31 this year.
The estimate is based on supply figures up to the end of December and projections of a similar intake for January, February and March as was supplied in the three-month period last year.
ICOS' George Kearns said a 10pc reduction in January-March supplies would result in an over-quota position of 18m litres (0.3pc over), which would halve the superlevy bill to €4.25m.
However, there is a clear disparity between the ICOS figures and Department of Agriculture predictions.
According to Department figures, Ireland was 0.08pc under quota on December 31.
Sources claimed that if milk supplies followed a similar pattern to last year, Ireland could finish the year 66m litres (1.3pc) over quota. This would equate to a massive superlevy fine of €18.5m for dairy farmers.