Thanks in part to a 3p/l winter bonus, Lakeland Dairies has led our monthly milk league every November since 2013, and it has continued that trend this year with a table-topping price of 36.39p/l.

It is the first time since December 2013 that we have recorded a final price over 36p/l, and the first time ever where we have seen multiple processors pay over 36p/l in the same month.

But while Lakeland has taken its customary position at the top of the November league, it is only just ahead of the others.

November saw an across the board price increase for the third consecutive month. All went up by 1p/l, except for Dale Farm which opted for a rise of 0.75p/l. However, despite the lower price increase, Dale farm continues to pay the highest base across all processors.

Lakeland’s base increase and winter bonus payment brought its starting price to 34.5p/l, before the usual top-up payments on milk solids and hygiene.

Milk quality

For the November league, the calculations are based on DAERA statistics for the same month in 2020. That means butterfat is set at 4.23%, protein at 3.35% with lactose on 4.69%, a TBC of 20 and SCC on 192.

Differential closes

November sees all processors paying a winter bonus and when included in the monthly calculations, they result in considerable movement within the league rankings.

It also means the range from top to bottom has closed by approximately 1p/l on the previous month.

Glanbia Ireland/Fivemiletown climbs three places to finish second, thanks to a starting price of 34p/l which includes a 1.5p/l winter bonus.

Dale Farm slips three places for November. A 0.75p/l increase and 2p/l winter bonus put Dale Farm suppliers on a starting price of 34.55p/l, but transport costs of 0.5p/l leaves the co-op in mid-table.

Dropping two places is Glanbia Cheese, slipping from third to fifth on 35.5p/l, with Aurivo dropping four places to sixth and Strathroy moving from mid-table to bottom.

Strathroy has the lowest winter bonus in November at 1p/l, although it pays this additional 1p/l across a five-month period.

Twelve-month rolling average

In the rolling 12-month milk price for a 650,000-litre producer, Glanbia Ireland continues to lead.

For alternate-day collection, all positions are unchanged from the October comparison, with Glanbia now 0.25p/l ahead of its closest competitor, Lakeland. Dale Farm remains in fourth place.

For daily collections, Glanbia Ireland leads on 30.99p/l, a 0.4p/l increase on the previous month.

The only positional change sees Dale Farm move ahead of Lakeland at the bottom.

Read more

Board of Glanbia will be judged on milk price – ICMSA

Dairy management: preparing for Christmas