IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan said that, while appreciating the real impact of Covid 19, it was clear that international traders would seek to overplay it for commercial leverage.
“This should not be allowed affect February milk price decisions negatively, especially when the wet and stormy 2020 calving season is increasing costs and workload for farmers. Recent milk price decisions by Fonterra and Arla among others suggest that modest growth of global milk supplies continued to underpin their price expectations,” he said.
“Legitimate global concerns over the spread of Covid19 impact all trade, but Fonterra – more affected than most by trading difficulties in China – have maintained their price and dividend guidance for 2019/20 at NZ$7-7.60/kg MS and 15-25c/kg MS respectively,” Mr Phelan said.
“Arla has increased its March milk price by 1c/kg, while Friesland Campina’s March price is 0.5c/kg above their January level,” he added.
“The January 2020 Milk Price League indicates farmers were paid an average of 31.71c/l incl VAT (but excluding early calving bonuses which will disappear within a month). I urge co-ops to support farmers in this long, wet and stormy spring calving season, and ensure they get the February milk price increase which Irish and European indicators suggest remains fully justified,” he concluded.