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Ireland to Pay Lower than Expected Superlevy Fine this Year

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced that with all returns from milk purchasers now received, the overall level of milk deliveries for the 2013/2014 milk quota year has been calculated at 0.65% above quota. This final calculation of the national position is less than the earlier estimated position of 0.94%, due mainly to a lower level of butterfat content in milk this year over the previous two years. Based on these calculations, the final super levy bill is expected to be in the region of €10.5m down from the expected €15m.

The Minister commented that “last year was a good year for Irish dairy farmers in terms of increased income as favourable weather and prices combined to drive higher supplies. The eventual superlevy fine, while undesirable in the first place, will be lower than expected and dairy farmers can focus on preparing for quota abolition next April”.

The Minister also announced that the total volume of milk supplies for the first two months of this quota year (April - May 2014) taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, leaves Ireland at 9% over quota at end of May. This compares to being 4.64% under quota at the same point last year.

The Minister again stressed that it remains critically important that individual milk producers continue to manage their enterprises, having regard to the quota situation, until the expiry of the milk quota regime next March. Strong prices, good weather and high cow numbers could result in Ireland being over quota again this year unless production is managed carefully.

The Minister continued that “while I have sought and continue to seek amendments at EU level to improve the ‘soft landing’ for Irish dairy producers in collaboration with other like-minded Member States, unfortunately there is no common position at the Council of Agriculture Ministers and for the moment such an improvement looks unlikely to be achieved. However, I have requested the matter be on the agenda for discussion at July Council where I and other Member States with whom I have been working on this will once again seek to have the matter progressed”.

The Minister concluded “it’s important the focus is on how the Irish dairy sector realises its potential once we are free of the shackles of the quota system next April. My trade mission to the US last week highlighted again the massive opportunity for Irish dairy produce around the world and priority now must be to ensure that the structures and investments are in place to take advantage of this huge opportunity”.

View Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 98/2014 (pdf 115Kb) 

Date Released: 02 July 2014