Dairy processors urged to respond to market gains

Wednesday, 3 August, 2016

Dairy commodity prices have risen, thanks to the weakening of sterling, and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has urged processors not to delay passing this on to farmers, who have faced months of cash flow pressures in their businesses.

Article key points

  • UFU wants to see processors making it a priority to pass market gains on to farmers.
  • In the past two months there have been a favourable combination of factors that point to a sustained recover in milk prices, including the weaking of sterling against the euro.
  • Hopes have been boosted by the results of the lastest New Zealand Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction.
  • UFU has begun a series of dicussions with local milk processors and buyers.

The UFU has begun a series of discussions with local milk processors and buyers.  Speaking after the first meeting with Lakeland Dairies, which included members of the UFU’s dairy policy committee, UFU deputy president Ivor Ferguson said the past two months had brought a 'favourable combination of factors' that point to a sustained recovery in milk prices.

“These recovery hopes have been boosted by the latest New Zealand Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction delivering an increase of 6.6 per cent, putting the price at its highest level for nine months.  Our involvement in exports means the weakening of sterling has added to the momentum of rising milk prices.  On top of this, initial figures suggest local production, year on year, could be back by almost five per cent,” said Mr Ferguson.

The UFU says it is hopeful markets dynamics have turned.  The GDT auction saw whole milk powder prices rise by almost ten per cent, overtaking what futures markets had suggested would happen. 

“Recovery looks firm and this is reflected in the UFU milk price indicator, which has risen by three pence a per litre in the last six weeks.  Farmers have faced a long and severe downturn and we want processors to make passing on these gains a priority to boost hopes that this financial pressure will finally ease.  We will be pressing this case further as we meet with other processors in the near future,” said Mr Ferguson.