The last two milk processors to set a price for July supplies have followed the trend set by others and cut base prices.
Aurivo has reduced its base by 1.25p/l, putting suppliers on 30.25p/l. Included within this starting price is a 1.75p/l support payment from Aurivo’s milk price stability fund.
Opting for a bigger cut of 2p/l, Tirlán will pay its suppliers a base of 29p/l along with a 0.4p/l sustainability payment.
All other milk processors announced price cuts of 1.5p to 2p/l earlier this month. Glanbia Cheese is on a base of 28p/l before its 0.5p/l sustainability payment applies, effectively matching the 28.5p/l base from Lakeland Dairies.
Dale Farm is out in front on a base of 31.05p/l, marginally ahead of Strathroy’s starting price of 31p/l. See next week’s NI milk league for a full analysis of July prices.
Meanwhile, the latest data published by DAERA shows the average farmgate milk price paid during June was 32.24p/l, down 0.6p/l from May, and 12.4p/l below the corresponding month in 2022.
Milk production in June totalled 229.33m litres, an increase of 1.8% on the 225.27m litres recorded for the same month last year. It is the second month in a row that output has increased compared to the previous year. In the 12 months from May 2022 to April 2023, NI production was down year on year.
Given the wet July, whether the recent trend of increasing NI output continued during that month looks questionable.
In addition, high meal prices and some lower quality silages are likely to dampen production this autumn and winter.
Analysts at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) also expect production to flatline in both Britain and globally in the second half of the year, which should help to bring demand and supply back into closer balance.
However, it appears the market is yet to hit the bottom, with the latest milk price indicator (MPI) published by the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) down by 0.98p/l to 30.58p/l. Allowing for 4p to 5p/l to cover milk collection charges and a processor margin, the MPI is currently pointing towards base milk prices of around 26p/l this autumn.