February milk prices improved on the January price lifts with increases across the board for all co-ops.

There are again unconditional bonuses included in both Glanbia and Dairygold’s milk price that really push them ahead of the rest for February supplies. Those bringing up the rear end of the February monthly league remain the same, with Tipperary Co-op and Boherbue struggling to stay with the pace.

This average February lift of 0.17c/kg MS (1.3c/l) comes on top of the 0.07c/kg MS (0.5c/l) January lift boosting prospects for a decent milk price for March when spring milk suppliers really kick into gear. The volumes supplied in January and February are so small for spring suppliers that league position means very little. It’s March, April, May, June and July when the season is won and lost.

Glanbia increased base price for February by 0.15c/kg MS (net 1.1c/l) as they have a 2.8c/l ex-VAT unconditional bonus (everyone gets it) on top of the 0.4c/l Glanbia Ireland profit share. Centenary Thurles who sells a lot of its milk to Glanbia also moved up shy of 1c/l. Dairygold also has a 2c/l flat unconditional February bonus for milk supplied so it stays high in the league.

While Tipperary Co-op lifted milk price, it retains the honour of the bottom of the milk league just ahead of the small co-op Boherbue in north Cork that has a conditional 1c/l bonus which is not included in this league so that we can compare like with like.

Base change

Just to recap from last month, we rank this monthly league on euro per kilo milk solids at 3.55% protein and 4.2% fat. These percentages are the milk solids from the CSO weighted averages for the last two years. We were using 2016 fat and protein figures since we last revised the league to reflect the milk solids payment to farmers. We would plan to revise these numbers again in four years to reflect ongoing improvements. The 3.3% protein and 3.6% barometer in cent per litre stays to allow inter year comparison and help understanding in cents per litre.

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