Spot prices, market prices and auction prices continue to edge upwards on dairy commodities.

Co-op board members will meet this week and next week to set May milk prices and the pressure is on for a milk price rise.

Dairy farmers are demanding higher prices to match the market reality.

IFA dairy chair Stephen Arthur has warned co-ops that farmers will not tolerate being short-changed on their May milk cheque.

There’s an unacceptable gap between the market and what farmers are being paid

“Co-ops have a duty to their farmer suppliers. Any attempt to hoard market returns to shore up their balance sheets will be strongly opposed,” he said.

“Irish dairy processors are not returning the milk price in the marketplace. There’s an unacceptable gap between the market and what farmers are being paid,” he said.

Last week, the chair of ICMSA’s dairy committee said that the association’s analysis of current dairy prices indicates a price of 36c/l and Ger Quain said he expects that to be the price announced for May supplies when the processors decide.

Global milk supply

Feed prices are rising fast in some places and that is dampening milk supply, underpinning higher milk prices as many of the big milk producing countries are producing milk from purchased feed.

Forecasts indicate global supply will rise, but much depends on the weather. While New Zealand dairy herds are dried off, the forecast price is expected to be a record. They commit in advance and leave a range, rather than set milk price retrospectively.