EU - New figures from April for milk production in Germany showed an average price of 25.78 cents, with production costs over 44.60 cents per kilogram of milk.
These figures are complied every quarter by the Büro für Agrarsoziologie (BAL) and are then published jointly by the MEG Milch Board and the European Milk Board (EMB).
The EMB said cost analyses for other European countries show that this is neither a temporary problem nor a situation limited to Germany, with even countries with large farm structures such as Denmark and the Netherlands operating below costs on average.
"This constant shortfall in price coverage means that farmers must subsidise their production out of their own pockets. To make this possible, they do not pay themselves for the work they put in and take on loans to salvage their milk production and farms for the time being," said Romuald Schaber, President of the EMB, describing the immense pressure faced by dairy farmers. When even this fails, many farms abandon milk production.
"To bring prices to a fair level, the volume of milk on the market must be reduced," said Mr Schaber, The EMB is calling for voluntary milk production decreases on an EU-wide level, with compensation for producers willing to take part.
However, some sources suggest milk production is responding to lower prices.
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