Domestic milk intake fell to 815.5 million litres in April 2018, a drop of 5.9% compared to the same period last year, and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) estimate this drop in milk production will cost dairy farmers €15 million in wages.
New results from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that total milk sold for human consumption increased by 0.9 % to 44.2 million litres.
Whole milk sales accounted for 26.9 million litres, up 1.9% year-to-year, and skimmed and semi-skimmed milk sales fell to 17.3 million litres, a drop of 0.5%year-to-year. Skimmed milk powder saw a stronger decline, with sales dropping to 9.9 million litres, an 18% drop year-to-year.
Commenting on the April milk output figures from the CSO, the Chairperson of the ICMSA Dairy Committee, Ger Quain, said that, as suspected, the severe winter and spring led to the ‘very substantial’ drop in milk production.
Adverse Weather Effects
“The loss of income will be compounded by the extra costs incurred in getting through the spring in terms of fodder and feed and it leaves us in a position where we can say, even at this half-way stage, that 2018 is going to be a year of challenges, stress and pressure,” Quain said.
“However, the reduction in global milk supplies will feedback almost immediately into a stronger market as buyers look at the supply statistics and projections and purchase forward in the expectation of reduced supplies coming onto the market from all the significant producing regions. We’re seeing this already in dairy products prices with butter in particular moving upwards.
Quain called on co-ops not to further reduce their milk prices for May, which coops across the country are due to announce over the next fortnight, rather he said that “milk price increases now need to be put back on the agenda”.
Last month the IFA also called upon retail coops to set supportive prices for April milk prices. IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan said that the coops have a responsibility to all milk produces to set a fair price for their products.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.