Suppliers ‘disappointed’ at failure of Glanbia to increase milk price

MILK suppliers are bitterly disappointed with the failure by the board of Glanbia to increase their September milk price, according to IFA dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey.

Describing the static price as “a serious letdown for suppliers,” Mr Kiersey urged all other co-ops to disregard Glanbia’s incorrect and unfair decision, and to make sure that their suppliers are not left behind their European counterparts.

“Stronger commodity returns and improved demand on EU and global markets fully justify a 1c per litre increase, at least. Farmers in other EU states have secured the benefits of the market recovery in continued milk price increases every month over the summer, while Irish co-ops have merely held prices,” said Mr Kiersey.

Returns for most commodities on EU markets are now almost back to their May/June levels. The IFA also notes that international dairy markets weakened last August, and that commodity prices have crept back up to strong levels in the last few weeks.

Butter and whole milk powder prices are now higher than last May/June, and while SMP prices have recovered more modestly, spot returns for most commodities or commodity combinations on EU markets are now at or above 35c/l before processing costs.

Mr Kiersey added that cheddar cheese alone returns slightly less than SMP and butter, but when the relatively low added value of whey powder is included in the calculation, returns vary from 37 to 39c/l, based on spot quotes, mainly due to fluctuations in the Sterling exchange rate.

Mr Kiersey added: “It is clear that we are operating in a more volatile, and less predictable market.

“However, this is not a good enough reason for Irish co-ops to deprive Irish farmers from fully justified price increases.”


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