Dale Farm’s CEO Nick Whelan, who oversees the cooperative which is owned by more than 1,300 farmers, said it had benefited from a weaker sterling.
“We have seen a contraction of supply across all of the world’s main dairying regions over the past number of months. Adding to this market strengthening effect has been a slight pick-up in demand from customers in China and North Africa,” he added.
“One negative is the fact that oil prices have remained reasonably weak,” he said.
“Forecasting milk prices is a bit like predicting the weather in this part of the world: it is fraught with difficulty. Just four weeks ago, I was of the view that we might have to pull our prices as we headed into the 2017 spring flush. But, thankfully, this has not turned out to be the case.”
Dale Farm, which is Northern Ireland’s largest dairy co-op, remains optimistic.
But the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has said that it expects base milk price to rise and if not processors need to explain why market gains are not being shared with primary producers.
UFU dairy chairman William Irvine said: “Dairy commodity prices have stabilised and in fact we have seen two weeks of strong returns at key global dairy auctions. The UFU MPI has increased by nearly a penny during the same period.
“This leads us to question, when will we see an increase in base milk price here?”
Mr Irvine said that farmers already feeling short-changed.
Source: Farming UK