By FWi staff

MILK-POWDER export refunds have risen for the second time in a month in a bid to boost flagging markets.

Dairy market managers in Brussels increased export refunds by Euro100/t at the end of last week, mirroring Novembers move.

This means Brussels will now pay Euro200 for every tonne of skimmed milk powder (SMP) shipped out of the EU, and Euro700/t on whole milk powder.

Although in theory this latest move is worth about 0.6ppl on the raw milk price, the industry fears it may not be enough to kickstart milk powder markets.

These have suffered from plunging world prices and a series of export refund cuts earlier this year.

One major processor said the SMP export refund needed to hit Euro325/t before it would affect the intervention milk price equivalent, which stands at about 16.5ppl.

Jim Begg, director general of the Dairy Industry Federation, said he expected “fairly significant sales” into intervention when it opened in March unless prices improved.