Commission launches tender to sell skimmed milk powder in intervention
A tender procedure to release the first amounts (22,150t) of skimmed milk powder (SMP) out of public intervention stocks has opened, following a vote last week by Member States.
The European Commission's proposal reflects, it says, encouraging signs of recovery being seen on the European milk market, with an increase of about 10pc of the average price paid to producers in the last three months.
Following a steady slow down, no more quantities of SMP have been put into public intervention since September 2016, even though this market measure remains open.
In order to test the market reaction, the quantity of product concerned by the tender procedure is limited, corresponding to only 6pc of the total amount of 355,000t of SMP stored and taken off the markets since the opening of the measure in September 2014. Under this tender procedure, European operators will have until 13 December to submit their bids to national authorities.
The European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said he was pleased to say that Europe is seeing something of a recovery in those hardest-hit markets, but warned that recovery in agricultural markets can be fragile.
“Sustaining this recovery and working towards balance in the dairy market remains a priority. Reflecting the fragile nature of the recovery, the Commission will act with appropriate caution and the tender process will be under constant reassessment to prevent any unnecessary disruption."