The global upturn in milk and more positive market sentiment hasn’t filtered back into farmgate milk price just yet for Irish milk suppliers. October is the last significant milk cheque for most spring milk farmers. The overall position is similar to September as most held price. However, the four west Cork co-ops and Tipperary Co-op reduced October milk price.

West Cork farmers’ extreme disappointment on the nitrates derogation decision was reinforced when each of the four west Cork co-ops reduced milk price by 1c/l for October. This move brings the west Cork price back to the chasing pack and essentially levels the playing field. However, year to date, the west Cork co-ops have paid out almost €10,000 more per farm.

So now you have Kerry, the west Cork co-ops, Aurivo and Arrabawn paying 33c/l ex VAT (€4.70/kg MS) and the rest paying between 31c/l and 32c/l excluding VAT at base solids (€4.50/kg MS).

Tipperary Co-op was the other processor to drop milk price in October. It has dropped 1c/l off farmer milk price every month for the last three months and it means it is now propping up the bottom of the league table.

Aurivo switched the flat bonus into base price for October, so it stays the same.

In the year-to-date column last month, I wrote Tirlán was behind Dairygold. That was not the case and the numbers this month show Tirlán has paid €193,250 versus €191,988 for Dairygold year to date so it stays the same. The moves comes as autumn milk supplies tumble in Ireland and across the EU.

The mood music on the trade continues to be positive with Bernard Condon, Ornua, suggesting at Dairy Day in Cork last week that a milk price in the early forties was possible for early 2024 given current market conditions.

Stiffening of price

Across Europe, we already see some stiffening of price with the Dutch giant FrieslandCampina raising the guaranteed price for December to €46.31 per 100kg, which is €4.06 more than the guaranteed price for November. That price was €1.25 higher than the October price.