There has been a drop in the volumes of skimmed milk powder (SMP) Member States are offering to the public intervention system, the latest figures from the EU Milk Market Observatory (MMO) show.

For the week ending August 7, some 3,181t of SMP was offered by Member States to the measure, a decrease from the 4,636t offered in the week ending July 31, and a further decrease on the 6,250t offered by July 24.

In total to date, some 250,046t of SMP has been offered to the measure by Member States.

The latest figures show that there is a total of 328,571t of SMP in the measure, bought in via both fixed-price and tender.

Last week Ireland offered no SMP to the measure with the total volumes in the measure to date standing just under 30,000t at 29,548t.

While Ireland offered no volumes to intervention last week, the State did offer 433t of butter to private storage. This brought Ireland's total butter quantity in the measure to 4,502t.

To date, some 121,586t of butter have been offered to the private storage measure.

Earlier this year, the European Commission increased the public intervention ceiling from 218,000t to 350,000t. It also extended public intervention for SMP past September 30, until the end of February 2017.

This move followed a strong take-up of SMP intervention in response to the current market crisis, and follows on from the exceptional measures announced by the European Commission at the March Agriculture Council.