The board of Lakeland Dairies has decided to reduce the cooperative’s milk price for March, as global dairy market conditions continue to worsen.

In Northern Ireland, Lakeland Dairies has reduced the milk price by 3.5p/L to 35p/L. The March price includes a supplementary Input Support Payment of 1.5p/L.

In the Republic of Ireland, Lakeland Dairies has reduced the milk price by 4c/L to 42.85c/L inclusive of VAT at 3.6% fat and 3.3% protein.

The March price includes an Input Support Payment of 1.5c/L, inclusive of VAT, for all suppliers.

Lakeland milk price

According to the processor, volatile economic conditions, diminished consumer confidence and reductions in demand from dairy buyers are yielding consistently lower market returns, while global dairy supplies continue to run ahead of these reduced demand levels.

This has necessitated an ongoing correction in milk prices pending any return to more balanced supply and demand conditions, the co-op said.

In a statement, the processor said: “Lakeland Dairies is seeking to implement any such adjustments arising from this market correction as sustainably as possible in the full understanding that milk producers are operating in a high-cost environment.

“The cooperative’s intention remains at all times to pay as high a milk price as possible in line with currently unpredictable market conditions.”

Earlier this week, Lakeland Dairies CEO, Colin Kelly told Agriland that milk price in the short-term is likely to contract even further in the months ahead as markets continue to determine returns.

“The market today is lower than where, ultimately, the milk price is, so unfortunately a contraction looks inevitable in the short-term.

“What level that will be… I’m not so sure what that will be. Ultimately it’s the job of the board and management team in Lakeland to set that.

“When you look at the market, [it] is returning less than where the milk price is today,” he added.