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Smith welcomes increased Export Refunds for Dairy Products

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has announced the decisions taken at this morning's Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets in Brussels. The Committee decided to increase export refunds for butter, skimmed milk powder and whole milk powder and to accept into intervention all quantities of butter and most quantities of skimmed milk powder offered, while maintaining the intervention purchase prices.

In effect, the result means that a further 1,611 tonnes of butter (23 tonnes Irish) and 18,993 tonnes of SMP (3,978 tonnes Irish) were purchased into intervention bringing the totals since the commencement of these schemes to 81236, tonnes (14,940 tonnes Irish) and 202,915 tonnes respectively (26,744 tonnes Irish). In addition, some 96,124 tonnes of butter has been aided under the Private Storage Scheme of which Irish butter accounts for just over 5,100 tonnes.

As regards export refunds the SMP tender refund was increased, from €240 to €258 per tonne allowing the export of 3,694 tonnes. Common refund rates for SMP and WMP were increased commensurately while refunds for butter was maintained at €650 per tonne and cheeses were maintained at €220 per tonne. The tender refund for butter was maintained at €700 per tonne allowing for the export of an additional 2,841 tonnes.

Minister Smith said that the milk market situation would be discussed at next Monday's Farm Council and he would press hard for the prolongation of the public and private storage schemes, which are due to close in August. He also intended to press for the removal of impediments to support for the export outside the Community of cheese products and for a more aggressive level of support for the export of butter products.

Date Released: 18 June 2009