There are more negative factors impacting milk price than positive ones, according to Bord Bia dairy sector specialist Liam McCabe.

Speaking at the Positive Farmers Conference on Wednesday, McCabe said that lower prices for dairy products is making it more affordable for buyers, and the reduced costs of shipping and gas are also positive.

“There are more headwinds than tailwinds. In terms of supply and demand principles, we forecast that there will be more milk in the market in the first half of 2023, so that is going to have an impact on dairy prices. We are continuing to see downward pressure on dairy commodities, with week on week falls in butter, skim and whole milk powder relative to where they were at peak.”

He said that China has been displaying “muted buyer activity” and has been importing very little dairy product. He said he expects it to re-enter the market sometime this year and noted the recent relaxation in COVID-19 policy as being a positive first step.

When asked if he expects a new floor to be put on the price of milk, he said higher input costs at farm level mean that milk won’t be produced below a certain level, which is higher than it was in the past.

Professor Alice Stanton from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland was also speaking on Wednesday morning and she said that drinking two portions of milk per day reduces the risk of cancer by 50%.