On the basis that there is a clear improvement in the pigmeat market, Hogan said there is no clear justification for a private storage scheme for that sector.

"Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the dairy sector," he said. "Despite the extensive range of measures taken over the last year or so, the market remains weak and income for producers is severely affected."

Hogan confirmed that the Commission is working on a support package for the dairy sector, with financial resources if necessary, which he expects to present to the Council in July.

"In devising such a support package, we are looking at all options available to us that will help to bring balance to the dairy market," he said.

Supply-side measures

According to Hogan, progress has been made on the milk demand side, in particular in growing exports. However, supply side measures are still on the table.

"I'm confident that we will continue to do so. However, that progress is being outstripped by the continuing increase in production.

"Given that there are limitations on what can be done to encourage demand, we must inevitably focus on the supply side of the equation. While our analysis is still ongoing, we have to look at all of the instruments available to us and consider whether or not or on what terms access to those instruments continues to be available," he said.

Hogan said that all EU member states have to take responsibility for the continuing increase in production, which is simply not sustainable in the current market conditions.

Increasing SMP ceiling

The Commissioner also confirmed that the proposal to increase the ceiling up to which SMP is bought-in at fixed price to 350,000t was adopted by the Council on 24 June.

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