West Cork co-ops joined other processors this week by introducing a 2c per litre support, to offset a 2c March milk price cut.
Glanbia was first to announce a March price, saying it is generally accepted markets now return only 27cpl, but Glanbia Ireland will add 3cpl to a March base price of 30cpl. Glanbia chairman Henry Corbally spelled out the need to support farmers after an extremely difficult March, with low temperatures and more than twice the normal rain adversely affecting milk constituents and farm costs.
Glanbia also makes a €50/tonne feed support payment, and has imported 1,200t of alfalfa and brought over 5,000t of fodder within Ireland.
Dairygold cut its March milk price 2cpl, to 32cpl, saying the farm gate price continues well ahead of market returns, but a weather/fodder relief payment of 2cpl will be paid for all March milk. Since April 5, Dairygold imported more than 5,000t of fodder from the UK, distributed to over 1,000 members.
The co-op confirmed rising feed raw material costs over the past two months, but said it is not passing back these price increases to farmers, to date.
Kerry Group also cut its milk price 2c for March. But, in line with a milk contract commitment, Kerry will pay 1.5c/l extra on 2018 milk supplied up to April, excluding fixed milk price contracts.
Earlier, Lakeland Dairies also announced a support payment, to maintain an unchanged March milk payout.
There were signs this week dairy market returns may not deteriorate further, with the global dairy trade price index climbing 2.7% Tuesday, attributed to strong global demand in the leading global auction for trading large volume dairy ingredients. Global butter prices are predicted to set fresh record highs in coming months.
At a meeting with the EU dairy industry last week, Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said demand remains strong, but expressed concern at milk surges and cautioned the industry to observe market signals.
Source: Irish Examiner