pictured at the ICMSA AGM which took place at the Radisson Hotel, Co Clare.
Pic: Don Moloney

ICMSA say Irish processors “bumping along the bottom” of Milk Price League

Noting that the start of a new year is always a good time to evaluate how Irish operations compare internationally, the Chairperson of the ICMSA Dairy Committee Chairperson, Noel Murphy, has pointed out that Irish milk prices were “downright poor” by comparison with our counterparts for 2023.   According to the EDF-ZuivelNL International Milk Price Comparison, the ‘Big Three’ Irish milk purchasers included in the analysis have lagged at the bottom of the table for most of 2023.  While conceding that Irish milk prices took a savage cut in the first half of 2023 that reflected cuts in international markets, Mr. Murphy said that Ireland’s export-facing dairy sector made it more vulnerable than those producers with massive domestic demand. But even beyond that, he felt, a discretionary gap had opened between the prices paid by Irish processors and their mainland EU counterparts.  

“The average milk price using European solids is at 45.27 euro per 100kg on a rolling 12-month average while the top Irish processor is at 40.14 euro per 100kg with the three included Irish milk processors occupying the bottom three positions in the league.  The consequence of this difference is very serious for an Irish milk supplier supplying 400,000 litres amounting to approximately €20,000 of a loss between the EU average and the highest paying Irish Co-op in the league in 2023. That’s a massive amount of money and it’s particularly massive when it’s set against the kind of exorbitant input prices we experienced last year. Bumping along at the bottom of the milk price league is bad enough; bumping along at the bottom when the farmers supplying you are paying amongst the highest inputs is an altogether different kind of failure. It’s really not good enough to see our ‘Big Three’ processors occupying the bottom three places on the milk price league and we want and expect to see them climb up the table this year or the suspicions will grow that the farmer-suppliers are subsidising everyone else in the Irish dairy supply chain”, said Mr. Murphy.

Ends      31 January 2024

Noel Murphy, 086-3815575

Chairperson, ICMSA Dairy Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office