The European Commission move to extend the period for private storage aid for both Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and butter has formally been backed by EU Member States.

Member States backed the move to extend the period at the Agricultural Markets Committee today (Thursday, August 27).

In parallel, the Commission is in the process of adopting a Delegated act extending public intervention periods for the same products.

First announced by European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan in July, the period for Private Storage Aid (PSA) will be extended to the end of February 2016 and the automatic option of intervention will in effect be extended until the end of September 2016.

Under previous rules, both measures were due to close at the end of September 2015.

With the recent drop in dairy prices in most Member States, some 8,859t of SMP has been sold into intervention in recent weeks – in Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and the UK.

In parallel, 138,510t of butter and 43,637t of SMP has benefited from the PSA scheme which was introduced in September 2014 in the wake of the Russian ban on imports of certain EU products, including all dairy products.

Earlier this week Germany became the fifth country to put product into intervention.

Germany joins Belgium, Lithuania, Poland and the UK in putting dairy product – SMP into intervention this year. Germany put in 264t between August 17-23.

However, the UK and Lithuania did not submit any SMP into intervention during the past week. Belgium, on the other hand, increased by more than three fold the amount it submitted. It went from offering 480t to 1,581t.