Lakeland Dairies sets milk price for March as dairy markets ‘collapse’

Lakeland Dairies has announced a milk price for March against a background of collapsing dairy markets.

Suppliers in Northern Ireland will receive a base price of 23.75p/litre. This represents a reduction of 1.5p/l on the February price.

In the Republic of Ireland, a price of 30c/litre (including VAT) will be paid for milk supplied in March. This represents a reduction of 1.81c/l on the February price.

Commenting on the price, Lakeland Dairies said the fallout from the COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on the dairy markets.

“As the CO­VID-19 pandemic has continued across the globe the global dairy markets have collapsed.

“The food service sector across Europe has suffered near wipe-out following the closure of restaurants, cafes, hotels, while airlines have grounded many planes. Food service is an important route to market for Lakeland Dairies and many dairy processors across Europe.

“Prices for butters, powders and cheeses are under significant down­ward pressure as food service milk is now flooding into powders and butter.

“Closer to home, sales of fresh milk and butter in retail outlets have increased somewhat but this increase has not offset the drop off in sales in the food service market.

“Reports from the UK and the USA where farmers have been forced to dump to milk as a result of a fall off in demand, mainly in the food service sector, has had a serious negative impact on the market.

“The markets are difficult at present and Lakeland Dairies will continue to monitor developments closely in the coming days and weeks.”