Base milk prices averaged 31.63p/l across all processors for May, the lowest monthly average for 21 months going back to September 2021.

Back then, dairy markets were at the beginning of a sustained period of positive demand for butter and milk powder.

Currently, markets are much more volatile and processors were quick to use this to justify price cuts for May.

For a 1m-litre supplier, Table B shows the prices paid by each processor for milk produced at high and average solids last month. The values used for solids are outlined in Table 1 on the opposite page.

The price paid for high solids milk, when averaged across all processors, comes to 34.17p/l in May, down 1.2p/l from April. Prices are down 7p/l on those paid 12 months ago.

Tirlán/Fivemiletown leads on 36.31p/l, making it the third month it has topped the analysis for high solids milk.

The Tirlán price is calculated under its hybrid A+B-C option chosen by the majority of suppliers. This price is 0.3p/l more than the equivalent where 100% of milk is paid for under its conventional increment option.

Behind Tirlán, Dale Farm holds on to second, paying 35.06p/l after factoring in the relevant transport charge for alternate day milk collection. Strathroy remains in third place for the second successive month.

With a significant differential in the base prices paid by the processors in the top half of the table compared to those in bottom half, there is a gap of 1.3p/l to the fourth placed Aurivo, with Glanbia Cheese and Lakeland rounding out the table.

Moving to average solids milk, which is more typical of the average NI dairy herd, the average price paid across all processors stands at 33.44p/l, again down 1.2p/l from April.

Tirlán is out in front on 35.25p/l.

Strathroy climbs one place to second, overtaking Dale Farm which slips to third.

The bottom half has Aurivo ahead of Glanbia Cheese and Lakeland.

Rolling milk price

As shown in Table C, Tirlán also dominates our analysis for milk prices over the 12-month period ending May 2023.

For both high and average solids, there are no positional changes from the previous league.

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