Lakeland Dairies is the first processor in NI to set a price for April supplies and has increased its base by 2.5p to 40p/l.

It is the first time on record that any processor in NI has paid a base price of 40p/l for milk and in the case of Lakeland, its April milk price is up 11p/l year on year.

While other processors have yet to set an April price, they are also expected to apply another price increase.

Following price corrections at last week’s GDT and Dutch Dairy Board auctions, the latest milk price indicator (MPI) from the Ulster Farmers Union has slipped 0.6p to 48.13p/l.

Allowing for transport and a processor margin of 5p to 6p/l, the MPI points to a potential base price of 42p to 43p/l during the summer.

While it is the second drop in succession for the MPI, there is no sign that dairy commodities are under any significant downward pressure. Market analysts point out that the Fonterra milk price forecast is unchanged and the dip in Chinese buying demand is temporary.

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