The quantity taken out of the market by Irish processors jumped to 1,769t from the previous week’s 631t – the highest in Europe.

So far in 2016, Ireland has had the second highest amount of skimmed milk powder being offered into intervention, with 3,273t in total.

Belgium is the only heavier user of the scheme this year, with 8,052t offered so far.

The figures come amid renewed pressure on dairy commodity prices. The Global Dairy Trade index dropped by 7% in the most recent auction on Tuesday, the third consecutive time over the last six weeks.

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Global auction drops 7% this week