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Milk Prices Increase, Farmers Lose Out

The price of milk rose by two cents for consumers between January and March, reaching 0.86 euros per litre, but the amount paid to farmers fell.

According to data from the Price Observatory, between the 1st of January and the 25th of March, the price of a litre of semi-skimmed UHT milk went from 0.84 euros to 0.86 euros.

The peak was reached at the end of February, when a litre of milk started to cost 0.87 euros.

In the case of milk, the increase that consumers started to pay was not reflected in the price paid to producers.

The Price Observatory only presents the amount paid for milk to mainland producers between the 1st and the 29th of January, a period in which it remained stable at 0.47 euros.

However, data from the Office of Planning, Policy and General Administration (GPP) shows that milk purchased from individual producers was priced at €0.457 per kilogram (kg) in April, down from €0.460 per kg in January.

In the Azores, milk purchased from individual producers (with a refrigeration tank on the farm and transport at the factory’s expense) fell, between January and April, from 0.406 euros per kg to 0.397 euros per kg.

Also in the Azores, milk purchased from individual producers, who deliver it to the factory’s reception stations, with transport at the producer’s expense, rose from 0.387 euros per kg in January to 0.379 euros in April.

In the first four months of the year, the producer price of organic milk fell from €0.563 per kg to €0.550.

According to data from the European Union, the average price of raw (untreated) cow milk paid to producers stood at 46.22 euros per 100 kg in May.

Countries such as Cyprus (€63.76), Malta (€56.10), Greece (€52.20) or Italy (€49.55) stand out.

At the bottom of the table are Lithuania (€39.18) and Latvia (€39.72).

In 2023, the price of milk to the producer fell by 11 cents per litre in five months, a drop justified by the evolution of the market, as denounced, at the time, by the Association of Milk Producers of Portugal (Aprolep).

In the case of butter, the increase in consumer prices was even more significant, from 8.10 euros per kg to 8.34 euros on the 25th of March. In this case, the average weekly ex-works price of butter has been growing: on the 8th of January it was at 563.70 euros per 100 kg, and on the 27th of May 27 was already at 578.31 euros.

The highest value was reached on the 8th of April when prices reached 588.48 euros per 100 kg.

Samantha Gannon

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