UFU Milk Price Indicator to be reinstated

Thursday, 16 February, 2017

The Ulster Farmers’ Union's dairy committee has decided to reinstate its Milk Price Indicator (MPI).  This was originally launched in 2013, because of an absence of milk pricing data specific to Northern Ireland.  Published fortnightly, with supporting market analysis, it gave dairy farmers an indication of returns from key commodity markets.  Publication was suspended in late 2014 after claims it talked down milk prices.  These were proved wrong when continued calculation of the MPI accurately reflected market returns and the milk price in Northern Ireland.

The reinstated MPI will remain unchanged in how it is calculated.  It is based on existing industry recognised market calculations.  These are AMPE (Actual Milk Price Equivalent) and MCVE (Milk for Cheese Value Equivalent), which are then adapted to analyse prices in local, European and global dairy commodity markets.  The MPI does not include processor margins or transport costs. 

UFU dairy chairman, William Irvine said; “This will be a useful tool for both dairy farmers and processors. It will give a broad indication about what the market can return, but it cannot provide an exact milk price figure.  In an era of volatility the reinstated MPI will however give farmers vital information about the direction of prices.  It should be seen as 'the canary in the coal mine', alerting farmers to market trends and allowing them to plan their response,” said the UFU dairy chairman.

The UFU MPI will be published fortnightly on a Friday, with supporting analysis, on the UFU website; in the UFU members’ bulletin and in UFU Watch in that Saturday’s Farming Life.