This week, we profile all March milk prices for the main players in Ireland.

In general, all moved up 1c/litre and farmers will be expecting something similar for April milk prices.

They are looking at the equivalent Ornua price for March at 34c/litre and comparing what they are getting between 32c and 33c/litre at base solids.

The general trend of stability on dairy commodities holds for this week. The butter and skim mix is making more money and is slightly less costly to make than cheese, so those processors that have that option are winning.

Now butter is not making the €6,000/t it was making in June 2018, but it is making €4,000/t and that, combined with a better skim price, is making the pair attractive. Skim is making just shy of €2,500/t, which is almost €1,000/t better than where it was in 2018 when butter hit the roof at €6,000/t.

Very dry weather in Ireland and England is limiting the spring flush of milk to some extent and some are beginning to ask questions about drought and the impact it might have on milk supply.

March milk supply in Ireland was up considerably on expectations and while April has fallen back, it is still ahead of previous years.

Eastern Europe has had exceptionally cold weather by all accounts, so supplies are tight and demand strong. The USDA has announced the cancellation of the $4bn food aid programme, which saw some commodity prices soar to record levels during the pandemic.

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