Global milk volumes are well back, and unlikely to recover fast enough in 2017 to really challenge the market balance, and therefore dairy and milk price levels.

With farmers still struggling to deal with the consequences of months of depressed cash flow, it is vital that every cent possible be passed back so that they can look forward to a spring peak with sustainable milk prices. Current and forecast trends suggest co-ops can have the confidence to do just that.

The main European milk purchasers have increased milk prices by more than the average 5.5c/l passed back by Irish co-ops between July and November.

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