A 1.5p/l increase in base price, plus a 1.5p/l winter bonus on February supplies, have left Glanbia Ireland in a dominant position in the February milk league.

The Virginia-based processor finishes on top for supplies made last month, paying 31.11p/l to a 650,000l producer for milk collected on alternate days.

However, with commodity markets on an upward trend, there were price increases applied across the board last month.

The largest increase came from Glanbia/Fivemiletown, with the lowest being the 0.7p/l from Lakeland Dairies. All other processors raised their respective base prices by 1p/l.

Glanbia last topped the monthly milk league in September 2020, when it paid an alternate day price of 28.17p/l. Throughout 2020, Glanbia Ireland finished top on nine occasions.

Milk quality

The monthly milk league is based on a 650,000l producer with a supply profile matching the NI average.

To allow for a fair comparison between processors, milk quality figures are taken from the monthly DAERA statistics for the same month in the previous year.

This means February calculations are based on 4.06% butterfat, 3.25% protein, 4.76% lactose, 17 TBC and 191 SCC.

Bonus payments

Behind Glanbia, Strathroy Dairy slips two places, having topped the January league. Along with a 1p/l increase, which raised its base price to 28.5p/l, the Omagh-based company is the only other processor to pay a winter bonus for February, worth 1p/l.

Despite paying the lowest base price at 28p/l, Glanbia Cheese finishes in fourth place on 29.7p/l. At the outlined milk quality, the Magheralin processor pays a 0.4p/l mozzarella bonus and this boosts its league position.

With zero transport charges on alternate day collection, Lakeland Dairies edges out Dale Farm for fifth place, based on the outlined milk quality.

Aurivo finishes bottom of the league, having started from a base of 28p/l, although suppliers have received an additional 0.75p/l for every litre supplied from January to March 2020 in their February milk cheque.

For a 650,000l supplier, with a normal supply pattern, this is worth approximately £1,250.

12 month average

Moving to the rolling 12 month average price for a 650,000l supplier, Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown continues to dominate for alternate and daily day collection.

On alternate day pricing, Lakeland remains in third, just 0.08p/l behind Glanbia, with Strathroy holding the fourth spot.

While Aurivo’s additional 0.75p/l payment has been factored in, it only applies for one month in the last 12 (March 2020), so has made little difference to the rolling average price. From first to last place, the spread of milk prices is just 0.69p/l.

For daily collection, Strathroy remains in third, followed by Glanbia Cheese. Both processors have no charge for daily milk collections.

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