28 April 1995

Rise in milk base price

MEMBERS of United Dairy Farmers, the co-op which replaced the Northern Ireland MMB last month, have received a base price of 24p/litre in their first milk cheques.

"That is 0.9p above the base price set by the NIMMB for February, and is also 2.5p above the price paid in March 1994," said chief executive, David Stewart. "Prices are now well ahead of those being paid by co-ops in the Republic."

This 24p assumes a base constituent value of 3.8 to 3.84% butterfat and 3.15 to 3.19% protein.

The better returns reflect the firmer market for dairy products so far this year and the success of the co-ops auction system. Last month it achieved prices ranging from 25.1p to 27.5p/litre for a variety of three month, six month and annual contracts. This months spot market auction was back slightly at 25.6p/litre for 4m litres.

&#8226 The London-based Dairy Industry Federation, which represents the trade, has warned of further price increases for drinking milk in the shops, due to rising packaging costs. The cost of high density polyethylene, used in plastic containers, has risen 86% in the last 12 months, says the Federation. See Mik Price Review on page 22.n