Arla raised milk price for June by over 5c/l this week, showing that the ceiling has yet to come on milk prices, despite recent falls at the New Zealand Global Dairy Trade (GDT) dairy auction.

Irish milk prices have just been set for April, with co-ops expected to meet over the next three weeks to set May milk prices. We understand the Arla increase is partly due to concerns about a lower than expected spring milk supply.

The milk price lift takes the Arla price to almost 56c/l for June at base milk price. Arla says the price is necessary to compensate farmers for higher input costs.

The export of milk powders from the EU to countries outside the EU fell sharply in the first three months of 2022 compared with the same period last year. Cheese exports also fell, but relatively limited.

The export of butter also fell, according to data from the European Commission.

The export of skimmed milk powder in particular took a hit. Less product was sold to almost all major export destinations.

Biggest drop

The biggest drop was in exports to China (which bought less overall) and Algeria (which partly bought different products). In total, more than one fifth less was exported.

Infant formula sales will rise on the back of the US decision to source as much milk powder as it can from across the world, including Ireland.

This will mean a big lift for some companies that were maybe struggling up to now.

The last GDT auction was down 2.9% and the next auction won’t be until 7 June.