May bonus for Irish milk men

By Philip Clarke

IRISH dairy co-ops have passed on an extra 2p/gal (0.34p/litre) to their members for May milk, in response to firming product markets.

The increase came on June 8, following a Ir50/t rise in skimmed milk powder. This gave a milk equivalent value to processors of 121.5p/gal (20.88p/litre), 11p above the early April return.

“All product markets are firm,” said IDB brands manager Pat Ward. Cheese is in particular demand as EU consumers, put off red meat, seek alternative protein supplies.

Production has risen by 6%, at the expense of butter/powder manufacture, resulting in stronger prices for these two commodities.

The Irish Farmers Association believes co-ops should be paying farmers an overall price of at least 106p/gal (18.22p/litre), before 4.3% VAT, for May milk. “Given that the processors average return during the month was 117p/gal, that still leaves an 11p margin,” said milk adviser Catherine Lascurettes.

Dairygold, Newmarket and Drinagh co-ops have hit that level, lifting May milk 2p to 106p/gal, 106.13p/gal and 107.3/gal respectively.

Golden Vale was one of many to match the move, but not the price. Despite a large farmer protest outside its Limerick offices late last week, it lifted its May return by just 2p to 103.5p/gal (17.79p/litre).

Town of Monaghan and Kerry also added 2p/gal. But Tipperary Co-op was up a more modest 1p/gal to 105.65p/gal (17.88p/litre).

The IFA reckons co-ops should be paying at least 108p/gal (18.56p/litre) for standard 3.3% protein, 3.6% butterfat milk in June.

  • Dairy market managers in Brussels have cut the level of export refunds for butter and cheese by 12% and 15% respectively, in response to firming world markets for these two products – the first changes in almost two years.


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