Despite trailing Lakeland, Dale Farm and Glanbia Ireland on base price, Glanbia Cheese leads the monthly league table for a 1m litre producer (Table B).

All prices are based on alternate-day collection and calculated at three different milk qualities, which are outlined in Table 1.

Good quality

On good-quality milk, the price across all processors averaged 31.51p/l for March, a rise of 0.27p/l on February, and more than 5p/l ahead of the equivalent average during March 2020.

Glanbia Cheese leads on 31.85p/l, making it the first time the Magheralin processor finishes top of this analysis since April 2019. Back then, it paid 28.1p/l.

The key factors taking Glanbia Cheese ahead of the rest are a 0.65p/l volume bonus and 0.4p/l mozzarella bonus.

Lakeland Dairies finishes second on 31.81p/l with Dale Farm climbing three places to third. Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown falls three places to fourth on 31.6p/l, followed by Aurivo and Strathroy.

Average quality

Glanbia Cheese also tops the table for average-quality milk, with a price of 31.25p/l.

Across all processors, milk prices averaged 30.7p/l, up from 30.33p/l in February. Glanbia Cheese last topped this table back in October 2020.

Dale Farm climbs four places to second with a price of 30.95p/l, with Lakeland gaining two places to finish third.

Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown slips from first place to joint fourth with Aurivo and Strathroy rounding out the table.

Rolling average prices

Across all processors, base price averaged 29.01p/l in March, the highest monthly figure since January 2018.

In 10 of the last 12 months this average has increased, so there has been a continued rise in the rolling 12-month average league (Table C).

For the 12-month period ending March 2021, Lakeland continues to pay the highest price for good-quality milk at 29.29p/l, followed by Glanbia/Fivemiletown.

Glanbia Cheese overtakes Aurivo for fourth spot, with Dale Farm and Strathroy’s positions unchanged.

For average quality milk, which is probably the best indicator of actual prices being paid to NI farmers, Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown continues to top the table, with an average over the last year of 28.03p/l.

Glanbia Cheese has moved up to join Lakeland in third, while Dale Farm has overtaken Aurivo to take fifth.

The gap from top to bottom has widened out slightly to 0.69p/l.

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