Milk prices in Northern Ireland have increased by about 57% in the space of a year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

In June of this year, dairy farmers in Northern Ireland received an average farm-gate milk price – including retrospective bonuses – of 27.10p/L (30c/L).

This equated to an increase of 9.9p/L (11c/L) compared to the same month last year, DAERA added.

The weighted average farm-gate milk price during January to June 2017 was 26.35p/L (29c/L); this was 8.3p/L (9c/L) higher than the same period in 2016, figures show.

This is the third consecutive month that the average farm-gate milk has increased in the north. The last time it reached this level was in December last year, when the price equalled 27.08p/L (31c/L).

Meanwhile, in the fifth month of this year the volume of raw milk produced on dairy farms across Northern Ireland totalled 210.2 million litres. This was 2.9% higher than figures for June 2016.

However, production dropped by almost 19 million litres between May and June of this year.

In the period from January to June 2017, the volume of raw milk produced was 1,222 million litres – equating to an increase of 1.6% compared to the same period last year.

Price index drops by 1.6% at latest GDT auction

Earlier this week, the overall price index dropped by 1.6% at the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction held on Tuesday, August 1.

This comes after the index returned to positive figures at the GDT event on July 18, increasing by 0.2%. That followed on from two consecutive decreases of 0.4% on July 4 and 0.8% on June 20 respectively.

Reductions were witnessed across most categories, with just butter milk powder (BMP) and whole milk powder (WMP) price indices reporting marginal increases.

The price index for WMP increased by 1.3%, while the index for BMP rose by a more modest 0.4%.

However, the butter index fell by 4.9% at the latest GDT auction. Similarly, the cheddar index dropped by 4.8%. Skimmed milk powder (SMP) saw its price index fall by 3% at today’s event.