Gerald Quain of the ICMSA
The country's co-ops have been urged to follow the lead of Lakelands Co-Op and hold base milk for April milk
The chair of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, Gerlad Quain,said that Lakelands should be commended for its stance and acknowledged for this trend-setting milk price announcement that challenges other co-ops and processors to follow their lead.
Mr Quain said that in the context of the earlier announcement by Ornua that their PPI was to remain constant there is now an undeniable stability back in the market and he said that farmer-suppliers would expect their co-ops to follow the lead set by Lakelands in their forthcoming individual price announcements.
“Everyone knows that the milk price achieved over next two months will go long way to determining the overall performance of 2018 for dairy farmers and equally everyone knows the hardships being endured at farm level with sileage and concentrates costs likely to reach historical highs.”
The dairy markets have worked up some momentum in the last number of weeks, he said and ICMSA was particularly encouraged by the fact that Dutch dairy quotes for the butter / SMP mix have increased over 6cpl in the last month with WMP up 2cpl litre the same timeframe.
“These indicators are very welcome but will take time to feed backwards to farmgate prices,” said Mr Quain.
In the meantime, prices were still under pressure and ICMSA was calling on co-ops and processors to keep prices solid over the next two or three months. “We repeat our conviction that it’s better for support to be shown through maintaining milk price than by support packages or other discretionary payments”, said Mr Quain.
Meanwhile, IFA national dairy chairman Tom Phelan said the Ornua PPI stabilising for the first time since last October was a “clear indication” that Irish co-ops had seen the worst of dairy returns and were now able to benefit from the firmer dairy prices being reported by the EU Milk Market Observatory.
He said this should help co-ops to continue to support milk prices for April supplies, in recognition of the horrendously difficult late spring dairy farmers have endured.