Cost pressure ‘threatening survival’ of European milk production: EMB


The industry body said that despite a ‘slight’ upward trend in pricing, any increases are failing to offset the ‘extreme rise’ in costs farmers are facing. The price of inputs like fertilisers, feed and energy have all spiked in recent months.

In Germany, EMB said the ‘main dairies’ in North Rhine-Westphalia paid dairy farmers 44 cents per kilogramme of milk in February. This was an increase in the farmgate milk price, the farmers’ association noted, but stressed it was ‘far from enough’ to make up for the average increase faced by dairy farmers of 10 cents, as calculated by the Chamber for Agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia. This places total production costs at 53 cents/kg milk. And prices continue to rise, EMB stressed. For example, the price for the protein feedstuff rapeseed meal has already surpassed 500 euros per tonne in April.

In Portugal, EMB said year-on-year price increases of 62% for diesel, 77% for maize and 140% for nitrogen fertilisers have been reported for April 2022. In France, energy costs have increased by about 30% and fertiliser costs have increased by over 80% within the course of a year.

The situation is already having an impact on the European dairy herd, EMB revealed. Incoming reports from countries like Italy and the Netherlands state that due to the explosion in feed prices, an increasing number of producers are forced to send their dairy cows to slaughter.

“This incredibly tense situation is currently forcing many farmers out of milk production and is eroding farming structures in the EU down to dangerous levels,”​ warned EMB President Sieta van Keimpema.

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