Kerry, Arrabawn, Lisavaird, Drinagh, Barryroe, Bandon, and Boherbue all increased milk price in January. The lift was mostly by 0.5c/l to reflect the better global dairy market prices.

While Glanbia dropped the 0.4c/l co-op bonus they have an unconditional January bonus so that shoots them towards the top of the monthly league.

Centenary Thurles matches Glanbia in price as they sell a large share of their milk to Glanbia. Dairygold also has a 3c/l flat, unconditional January bonus for milk supplied so it improves its league position.

Lakeland and Tipperary were the only two co-ops that didn’t change January milk price when we analyse the milk cheques that landed last week for January. The small Boherbue price lift takes it off the bottom so Tipperary Co-op has the honour of the bottom of the league.

January dribble

Remember January manufacturing milk supply is only a dribble and doesn’t exist at all for the majority of spring-calving farmers. Glanbia has an unconditional bonus (3.8c/l ex VAT) that is paid on all milk, as is the Dairygold bonus, but of course if there isn’t much milk to buy it doesn’t cost them much and in effect they are playing the league.

Tipperary and Lakeland also have conditional bonuses of 3c/l and 5c/l respectively, but they are linked to peak supply so are not included in this league. This monthly exercise standardises and represents the price paid in euro per kilo milk solids for milk at 3.55% protein, 4.2% fat, 250,000 SCC, 30,000 TBC and does not include conditional bonuses.

Base change

From January we rank this monthly league on euro per kilo milk solids at 3.55% protein and 4.2% fat. These percentages are the milk solids for the CSO weighted averages for the last two years. We were using 2016 figures since we revised the league to reflect the milk solids payment to farmers. We would plan to revise these numbers again in four years. The 3.3% protein and 3.6% barometer in cent per litre stays to allow inter year comparison and help understanding in cents per litre. There is no plan to present the c/l figures in 3.4% protein and 4.2% fat.

There is a mistake on the Dairygold milk statement for January. The price is reported on the statement in cent per litre at 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat and 3.4% protein and 4.2% fat. However, there are different A and B values (fat and protein values) for each.

IFA dairy chair Stephen Arthur said: “This is further evidence of the need to quote prices on kgMS rather than just changing the goalposts. It is the responsibility of board members to keep milk pricing straight forward and transparent”

Read more

Dairy markets: German milk supply continues to slow

Milk price: putting a shine on an old tractor