As the Deputy is aware, in recent years the EU has accumulated large amounts of public intervention stocks of skimmed milk powder (SMP), which are overhanging the dairy market and providing negative effects on wider dairy markets and market sentiment. In the 2015-2017 period a total of 405,478 tonnes of SMP were bought in to public intervention. The sale of intervention SMP stocks is held through public tenders managed by the EU Commission and voted on by Member States through the CMO Management Committee for Animal Products.
There were approx. 378,000 tonnes of SMP held in public intervention stocks on 1st January this year. After the most recent tender on 20th November, there are approximately 165,000 tonnes remaining in public intervention stocks - representing a reduction of approximately one half of total public intervention stocks since the start of 2018. This is a very significant reduction in intervention stocks and underlines the effectiveness of the approach taken thus far.
Tenders have been held fortnightly for October and November, with one tender in December, and will be held fortnightly from January 2019, which it is hoped will further boost the sale of stocks held in public intervention.
The most recent tender on 20th November was for the sale of 26,082 tonnes at €131.30/100kg. The increase in the price of accepted bids from the previous tender is a welcome development and bodes well for future upcoming tenders.