Dairy Reports

Dairy Council Report March 2023

Market Report  

December Farm Gate Price at 3.3% Protein/ 3.6% fat   

All milk processors announced milk price cuts in the region of 5-7cpl for January and many have signalled further cuts in the next two months.  

In January global commodity prices declined but in the past 2-3 weeks markets have recovered. The European futures market for butter increased by 6.7% for the Mar23-Oct23 period to €5,221. Similarly the futures price for SMP increased by 4.0% to €2,771 and the futures price for whey was up 1.6% to €770. 

European spot quotes increased for all product types. Butter was up 2.0% to €4758. SMP was up 2.4% to €2577 and whey was up 2.2% to €697. Whole milk powder saw the smallest gain of 0.4% to €3577. 

The latest GDT reported a decline of 1.5% (after a gain of 3.2%) to $3414 but the butter and cheddar index increased by 3.8% and 1.5% respectively.  

Activity since last National Council 

The dairy committee met on 26th January. Sean Coughlan from ICBF gave an update on the ICBF facility to calculate nitrogen bands, the dairy beef integration report and genotyping. A further meeting was held online on the 23rd of February to discuss the nitrates lobby document and formulate a strategy for lobbying political representatives to maintain stocking rates at 250kgN/ha.  

The calf stakeholder forum was held on the 2nd February. ICBF and Bord Bia made presentations to the Forum.  

We also had an online meeting with Dairygold on their sustainability scheme.  

On the ground we are assisting farmers in Wicklow regarding poor conception rates and have requested meetings with Kerry Group and PLC to discuss fixed milk price.  

Upcoming issues 

  • The biggest priority for the Dairy Committee is to lobby for changes on the conditions outlined in the Commission Decision for granting Ireland the nitrates derogation. In particular the proposal to reduce the maximum stocking rate on farms from 250kgN/ha to 200kgN/ha in 2024.  
  • The cuts in milk price will also be challenged by the dairy committee in the next month. The cuts in January were extreme and given the stabilisation of the market any further cuts to milk price must be challenged.  

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