The ongoing managed release of Skimmed Milk Powder by the European Commission has been described as prudent and careful by ICMSA Dairy Chairperson, Gerald Quain. He said that ICMSA had been critical of the initial decision to release the product last November on the grounds that it had the capability of ‘nipping in the bud’ the still fragile recovery in the dairy market. But Mr. Quain noted that the refusal of the European Commission to sell the product below market price had ensured that the recovering market had not been damaged.
It’s important to acknowledge that the Commission acted prudently here and our reservations expressed before Christmas have proved to be unfounded so far. However, there is still an overhang of product in the system and it is vital that the Commission keep ‘selling hard’ to ensure that dairy market does not suffer a slump again or go into reverse. Latest analysis by Rabobank predicts that China will return stronger to the international market in 2017 and they’re forecasting that Chinese dairy imports could rise by 20%, which should be positive for dairy markets. It is a crucial that Commissioner Hogan and his team continue the policy of not undermining markets by selling intervention stocks at low prices. Most farmers are only beginning to feel the benefits of the recovery and Irish dairy farmers desperately need stability for 2017 to pay off their own “overhang” of debt accrued in 2016”, concluded Mr. Quain.
Ends 27 January 2017.
Gerald Quain, 086-3623041
Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office