Average milk prices in the European Union have dropped by over two per cent in May, according to the latest statistics. The weighted average milk price stood at €30.48 per 100kg, which is down €0.82 per 100kg (2.6 per cent) from the previous month.
The alarming figures have just been released by the European Commission's Milk Market Observatory.
When comparing the May prices this year with the same month in 2014 Romania has shown the biggest fall, down by a whopping 28 per cent from €29.87 per 100kgs to €24.53 per 100kgs. The Netherlands, Latvia and Hungary, respectively, showed the next highest drops of 27 per cent, 26 per cent and 25 per cent, indicating the worsening situation in Europe.
In Ireland the average price in May was down 22 per cent from €37.10 per 100kgs to €28.75. The UK price has fallen to €32.36 per 100kgs from €38.40 per 100kgs in May last year. Plus, compared to the previous year, the weighted EU average price for May was down €7.05 per 100kg (18.8 per cent).
Looking at the pricing structures there is a huge gap between the lowest price of €21.50 per 100kgs in Lithuania and the highest price of €43.93 per 100kgs in Malta.
However, according to the European Commission's latest outlook for the dairy sector, and despite the lower milk prices, milk deliveries in the EU in 2015 are expected to be nearly one per cent above supply levels in 2014. Since his escalation to the post of EU Farm Commissioner, Phil Hogan has refused to recognise there is any crisis in the UK dairy. However, during the past week he has admitted there are problems with the UK structure and how milk is sold there. He added that extra money would be made available to help promote milk in the UK.