Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 19 November 2017

More co-ops join the 37c/l club as markets maintain solid demand

Aurivo, Tipperary, Arrabawn and west Cork creameries to pay 1-2c/l extra for May milk

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

aurivo, Tipperary, Arrabawn and the west Cork co-ops have all increased milk price to 37c/l or higher in recent days on the back of solid demand on international dairy markets.

A 2c/l price increase from Carbery prompted the west Cork co-ops of Drinagh, Lisavaird, Bandon and Barryroe to pass on the rise yesterday, pushing them to 37.28-37.61c/l including VAT for May.

Tipperary moved from 36.15c/l including a 1c/l hardship bonus in April to 37.1c/l including VAT for May milk, while Aurivo (Connacht Gold) moved from 36.2c/l to 37c/l including VAT.

On Friday, Arrabawn added 1c/l to bring it to 37c/l including VAT for May.

The board of Dairygold is expected to meet later this week to set its milk price for May.

The latest Department of Agriculture figures show Ireland was 4.64pc under quota at May 31 this year, compared to 2.02pc over quota at the same time last year.

SLAUGHTERINGS

Meanwhile, dairy farmers are continuing to reassess their stock levels after the disastrous summer of 2012 and fodder shortage in 2013. Cull cow disposals at the factory are running 12pc higher than last year and look set to finish the year 30,000-40,000hd ahead of last year.

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BORD BIA BEEF ANALYST JOE BURKE SAID HE EXPECTED COW SLAUGHTERINGS TO REACH 360,000-370,000 BY THE END OF THIS YEAR, WITH THE MAJORITY COMING FROM DAIRY HERDS. FARMERS SELLING AT MARTS ARE MEETING MIXED DEMAND FOR DAIRY STOCK AT THE MOMENT.

At Kilmallock mart, top-quality heifers and freshly calved cows have sold for up to €1,450/hd, but older, plainer types have made €750/hd and up. Most good young cows have averaged at €1,200-1,250/hd, according to Denis Kirby.

Bandon mart manager Tom McCarthy said good cows and heifers at clearance sales could make €1,000-1,300/hd, but individual cows from farmers reducing stock numbers were only making €800-1,200/hd.

CLEARANCE

AT MACROOM MART OVER THE WEEKEND, A CLEARANCE SALE OF 60 PEDIGREE COWS SOLD FOR AN AVERAGE OF MORE THAN €1,200/HD, WITH PRICES RANGING FROM €980-1,560/HD. MR MCCARTHY DESCRIBED THE SALE OF THE PEDIGREE HERD AS A STRONG RESULT.

Live exporters report strong demand from English buyers. Exporter David Clarke said the strongest demand was for New Zealand-type cows or 7,000-8,000l cows for grass-based milk production.

"Britain is 7pc under quota and they like Irish cows for their fertility and their durability," he maintained. Mr Clarke said cows were making €1,100-1,400/hd on average, with some pedigree cows making €1,500/hd.

Irish cows are much cheaper to buy than English cows, with a price gap of at least €700-800/hd, according to some sources.

Tipperary auctioneer Nick Maher said his repeat customers in Wales, Cornwall and Leicester were looking for first to third lactation calves with not too much Holstein breeding.

Prices ranged from €1,100-1,400/hd, but "price is never a problem if the beast is right", according to Mr Maher.

Niamh Boyle of Buitelaar Exports said that prices for commercial cows and heifers had dipped to €900/hd where high numbres of cows were available. At the other end of the scale, top pedigree Holstein cows could command €1,700-1,800/hd.

However, Bord Bia figures show that live export of cows is still running behind 2012, with just 3,804 animals exported to Britain so far this year, compared to 4,733 last year.

Irish Independent