The index’s April value shows a 0.3 point decrease on the previous month. The PPI has remained steady between 105 and 105.4 since the start of this year, which is equivalent to a farmgate milk price of just under 30c/l excluding VAT for the products traded by Ornua.

This follows a 3.6% rise in the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) price index last week.

Co-ops will now start setting April milk prices, a crucial month for farmers at peak volumes. This week and next are considered to be the peak weeks for milk collections where co-ops will be processing hundres of millions of litres of milk.

IFA dairy chair Sean O’Leary has said that the commodities exported by Ireland show a positive price trend, with butter especially reaching record highs.

“Volatility is at play, but in the medium term, the factors above could actually promote improvements in powder prices, in particular,” he said. “I urge co-ops to bear those in mind in making the milk price decisions which will determine the most important milk cheques of 2017”.

O’Leary cited slowdowns in milk supply in the Netherlands and New Zealand as well as vibrant demand in Asia among reasons for optimism.

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