On average March milk price rose by 1 c/l when we do the comparison with February.

Obviously supplies are beginning to ramp up in March so it’s more significant in terms of the milk cheque.

For the average-sized supplier (500,000 litres) at national average milk solids (3.55% protein and 4.20% fat), the cheque is about €14,375 for March.

The average manufacturing supplier delivers about 8% of annual supply in March. You can see in Figure 1 there is a price difference of about €943 in the milk cheque between the top and the bottom when you standardise the solids.

Tipperary Co-op, while rising 2 c/l for March, is struggling to stay with the rest of the players and once again props up the bottom of the monthly league.

Tipperary has been bottom since January 2021. In fact the co-op has been bottom of the league since September 2020. Nothing like a bit of debt on stainless steel to keep milk price sharpened.

Three big players, Aurivo, Lakeland and Dairygold, are driving the milk price for March. All three are about 1c/l ahead of the west Cork four that come next in line.

Aurivo is out in front on its own, paying €4.74c/kg milk solids, followed in second place by Dairygold which has a flat 1c/l unconditional bonus that it gives suppliers to encourage March milk supplies. The mood music remains good on milk price and there is still a bit of room left if we compare the average index equivalent price from Ornua to the monthly prices paid by the co-ops.

The average price for the co-op for March is 32.70c/l, while the equivalent Ornua PPI price is closer to 34 c/l for March once all is included. By all included I mean the base Ornua price and the equivalent bonus payment for premium products.

Over the next two weeks board members will be meeting to set April milk price and the pressure will be on for further price increases.

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