Belfast Telegraph

Glanbia boss envisages no respite in drop of milk price

By Peter Flanagan and Michael Cogley

The drop in Irish milk prices is set to continue into 2016, with little respite in sight for struggling farmers.

That's according to Siobhan Talbot, managing director of dairy and ingredients giant Glanbia. Subsidiary Glanbia Ingredients Ireland acquired the milk supply of Fivemiletown Creamery in Co Tyrone last year. Glanbia also manufactures mozzarella cheese in Magheralin near Craigavon.

Farmers in the Republic are facing many of the same price struggles as their counterparts north of the border.

Ms Talbot said the milk market was still dealing with a glut of supply as demand falls. "The general view is it will be into 2016 before we see sustained improvement again - clearly you have supply and demand out of kilter. Demand is now softer. You are coming off what were very good years for the milk market.

"We remain confident that the cycle will turn and are confident in the Irish industry playing a strong role into the global market.

"But price volatility hasn't gone away and we are working to keep the supply chain sustainable at present," she said.

Milk prices have dropped by more than a quarter, just as Irish farmers dramatically increase their production after EU milk quotas were abolished.

Ms Talbot was speaking as Glanbia reported half-year results that beat market expectations. For the six months to July 4, Glanbia said pre-tax profits rose to €117.6m (£83m) from €97.8m (£69m) a year earlier. Meanwhile, revenue rose 4% to €1.87bn (£1.32bn).

Belfast Telegraph