03 Jul 2014
EU dairy farms report 2013: latest data highlights volatility of milk producers’ marginsBrussels Daily
The last five years have been characterized by wide variations in milk producers’ margins from one year to the next, the 2013 edition of the EU dairy farms report published today by the European Commission shows. Based on data from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), the report provides information on the margins of EU milk producers from 2004 to 2011, as well as estimates for 2012. Volatility can also be observed from one quarter to another within the same year, as illustrated in the Farm Economics Brief on EU Milk Margin Estimate up to 2013 , also published today, which focuses on estimates of the latest trends in gross margins at EU-27 level. How does this translate in terms of income? The report shows that 2010 and 2011 were two positive years for farmers specialized in milk production (after the widely highlighted crisis year in 2009). On average, at EU-27 level, they obtained a higher Farm net value added per annual work unit than in 2007 – the previous high in incomes – thanks to the improvement in gross margins and to a significant increase in milk production. Last but not least, the report shows that in the dairy sector, the gap between EU-15 (“old” Member States) and EU-N10 (“new” Member States) seems to be gradually narrowing, both in terms of gross margins and farmers’ income.
Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has concluded that a Belgian guarantee scheme for shareholders of financial cooperatives was incompatible with EU state aid rules. In particular, the guarantee conferred a selective advantage to the Belgian financial cooperative ARCO, the only beneficiary of the scheme, who now has to pay back the undue advantage it received. In November 2011, Belgium notified a scheme aimed at protecting from losses shares held by individual shareholders in recognised financial cooperatives. The measure had already been put in place, in breach of the obligation for Member States to get prior Commission approval for new state aid measures. It appeared that ARCO was the only financial cooperative that had made use of the scheme. In April 2012, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation (see IP/12/347).