Ireland 12.02.2024

Farmers Advocate for Robust Milk Prices Amidst High Input Costs and Supply Challenges

Source: The DairyNews
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As the upcoming board meetings approach, the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) asserts that a significant increase in the base price for January supplies is imperative.
Farmers Advocate for Robust Milk Prices Amidst High Input Costs and Supply Challenges
The current dairy market returns, which have experienced a notable 4.2% uplift in the latest GDT, fully justify a raise, according to IFA National Dairy Chairman Stephen Arthur.

Highlighting the persistence of elevated input costs, Arthur emphasizes the importance of supporting farmers, especially as the backend experiences a milk supply that is "weaker than anticipated." With many farmers resuming milk production this spring, a strong milk price becomes a critical factor for their sustainability.

"This isn’t the time for lining the coffers; every cent has to be paid back to the farmer," asserts Mr. Arthur, underscoring the urgency of prioritizing the financial well-being of those in the industry.

The cost of milk production has significantly increased over the past year, and farmers' cashflow, previously sustained by a strong buffer from 2022, is now depleted. The need for a base price exceeding 40c/litre is stressed by Arthur as essential for the ongoing viability of farmers' businesses.

Despite relatively stable European markets, the IFA points out that the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) has shown positive sentiment, with a 4.2% increase. Notably, butter prices traded substantially higher than in European spot and futures markets, indicating the potential for short-term rises.

Adding to the challenges, the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures reveal a 4.1% decline in milk supply in Ireland in 2023 compared to the previous year. The domestic milk intake, estimated at almost 8.5 billion litres, experienced a decline of 365.5 million litres compared to 2022.

With these factors in mind, the IFA advocates for a proactive approach in the upcoming board meetings, calling for a base price adjustment that aligns with the current market dynamics and supports the resilience of the dairy farming community.
Lee Mielke
Lee Mielke
editor of the Mielke Market Weekly
Dairy farm milk production continues to struggle and remained below a year ago for the seventh consecutive month.
Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith
Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California
Every five years, the Department of Agriculture takes a census of farms, all two million of them. The most recent census occurred in 2022, and USDA released the data this week.
February 2024
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