As was expected the European Commission will propose a further increase in the intervention ceilings for Skimmed Milk Powder up to 350,000t.

The original 109,000t ceiling for buying-in of skimmed milk powder at fixed price was reached on March 31.

On 20 April, buying-in at fixed price resumed when the Commission doubled ceiling to 218,000t.

This new ceiling was reached yesterday.

On Tuesday, sales of Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) into intervention has reached 216,791t since the start of the year and is now almost over the already extended limit of 218,000t.

At the rate powder is being sold into intervention it will break the 300,000t mark in June. To put that into context 300,000t is as much as 75% of New Zealand’s annual production.

On Monday of this week alone, almost 7,500t of SMP was offered to public intervention with Ireland leading the charge on the day, offering some 55% of the product on the day.

Last week, some 26,000t of SMP was offered to intervention by EU Member States as dairy markets continue to slump across the continent.

The European Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan told the European Parliament this morning that the Commission will propose a further increase in the ceilings up to 350,000t.

The Commissioner said last year, total private storage aid and public intervention support covered 2.8 million tonnes of product, at a time when EU production increased by 3.5 million tonnes.

"We have now effectively deployed all of the tools available in the CAP toolkit," he said.