Dairy farmers angry at unwarrented drop in milk prices

The Ulster Farmers’ Union says dairy farmers are reacting with anger to today’s drop in milk prices at the Northern Ireland milk auction.  The UFU says the 1.16 pence per litre fall in prices was totally unexpected and unwarranted and will leave dairy farmers facing even more serious cash flow difficulties. 

UFU Deputy President Ian Marshall said; “This is a very serious setback for milk producers. We expected prices at the auction to be stable if not improving.   Instead our processors have delivered a blow to farmers by returning prices over a penny below last month’s figure.  Indeed it is questionable whether or not our dairy processors are completely detached from the financial reality being faced by the farmers who supply them.  It is our intention to immediately contact processors and ask them to explain and justify how prices have fallen at the auction, given that there are so many positive market factors which should have led to stable or rising prices this month.”  

The UFU highlighted a range of important factors which it says should have led to better prices at this week’s milk auction.  These include: a 4 million litre (10%) drop in supplies at the auction compared to the same production period last year;  the continuing trend for sterling to weaken against the Euro and Dollar; and stable commodity markets with the previous two Fonterra (New Zealand) dairy auctions delivering consecutive rises in whole milk powder prices.