WITH the EU Commission setting a minimum price of c2,250 per tonne for the sale of SMP out of intervention and with the average price of feed quality SMP in the EU at c2,172 per tonne, Mr Pat McCormack, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Dairy Committee, has stated that the current price being paid by the Irish Dairy Board for SMP does not reflect market reality and the price being paid by the IDB for both SMP and butter must be increased immediately to bring them back into line with developments in the marketplace.
It is quite clear, according to Mr McCormack, that dairy markets have improved considerably again and the latest indication of this is the result of the Northern Ireland milk auction published January 20 where the price increased by the equivalent of 2.6 cents per litre. Mr McCormack said that any study of international markets could only lead to the inescapable conclusion that the current IDB prices are now falling seriously behind the market realities.
The ICMSA Dairy Chairman said that Irish dairy farmers established and continue to support the Irish Dairy Board with that body’s sole objective being to return the maximum possible price to dairy farmers. ICMSA’s view is that this is not happening at the present time and the IDB price must corrected immediately.
“The IDB cut the November price for both butter and SMP and did not increase the December price in spite of abundant evidence that the market warranted it so farmers expect that there will be a substantial increase in the January price. Dairy farmers need to see that the Irish Dairy Board is delivering for them,” concluded Mr McCormack.