There is “absolutely no reason whatsoever” for any dairy processor to cut the price they pay for May milk supplies, the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has warned.

Speaking ahead of the imminent announcement of May milk prices by co-ops, ICMSA dairy chair Noel Murphy said he is “confident” that processors will make May the first month of 2023 where there will be no reduction in milk prices for farmers.

Murphy said that milk markets have shown “real resilience” over the last six weeks, culminating in an upswing in spot prices across most products.

Global dairy market indicators are improving, the ICMSA contends. \ Donal O' Leary

“Dutch dairy quotes saw whole milk powder go above 40c/l for the first time since January – that’s an upswing of almost 4c/l in value over the course of those five weeks in May.

“The industry standard butter and skim milk powder mix is up over 2c/l in that same period.

“These figures are only a snapshot of the market, but the trend is unmistakable and has to be acknowledged by the co-ops holding May milk price for the most important production month of the year,” he added.

Significant trend

Describing the market trend as significant, Murphy called on co-op boards to “look at the categoric upward swing in markets and then factor in the recent massive cuts to price, reduction in grass and the alarming possibility of having to resort to using winter stores of fodder”.

“[The] ICMSA is very confident that the co-ops will put it all together and hold the price in a way that’s going to inspire a degree of confidence in the milk suppliers and throughout the wider sector for the remainder of the year,” he said.

The ICMSA said it is "confident" milk prices won't be cut for May supplies. \ Philip Doyle

The ICMSA dairy chair suggested that the positive market trends signal a “move back towards farmer price improvements over [the] coming months” and was adamant that this recovery must begin with the next price announcement.

He said this should draw a line under the “long and completely disproportionate sequence of price cuts inflicted since the turn of the year”.

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