The four west Cork co-ops led for March and are still leading for April when we compare the price paid/kilo of milk solids. Overall, there was another substantial cut to April’s milk price across the board, with between 2c/l and 4c/l coming off farmgate milk price.
The January milk league averaged 51c/l – or €7.13/kg milk solids. That’s now down to an average of 38c/l or €5.34/kg milk solids for April.
In effect, when we account for a value on labour, it means the cost of production exceeds the value of milk right now.
The April moves mean there are three distinct divisions – those paying 39c/l in old money (€5.50/kg MS), those paying 37c/l to 38c/l (€5.30/kg MS) and those paying less than 37c/l.
There are two big players in the bottom division, Kerry and Lakeland, as we head over peak milk supply.
Even with top-ups, Kerry remains off the pace and while it only dropped 2c/l in April, it still remains bottom of the April milk league. It has its first significant three-in-a-row of the season now – February, March and April at the bottom of the league.
The unconditional bonuses and support payments are gone more or less for April.
The west Corks say they are calling on a ‘stability fund’ to the tune of 3c/l to keep milk price where it is. Aurivo has a flat 2c/l bonus. Lakeland has a 1.4c/l support payment continuing.
The cumulative column is already showing big differences between processors, despite the fact we are only four months into 2023.