Sales of intervention stocks to begin this year

Published 22 November 16

The European Commission has proposed to put a small portion of its SMP intervention stocks out for tender in December, pending approval by the Management Committee.

The release will be limited to the 22,150 tonnes of stocks which were in intervention stores at the beginning of November 2015. Of this total, 1,048 tonnes are held in the UK, which are believed to be held predominantly in Northern Ireland.

If it goes ahead, the first tender process would have a closing date of 13 December with the first sale on 15 December. It is believed that a second lot of product will go to tender in January, limited to the stocks in stores up to 1 December 2015, which would be around 900 tonnes.

It remains a priority for the Commission to ensure the release of stocks does not unbalance the markets. So, while the release of SMP stocks onto the market has come earlier than many expected, it may be that ,with EU pricing at or above its competitors on world markets, and milk production dropping, there is some room in the market to absorb small quantities of product. 

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