Member States have agreed not to sell any skimmed milk powder (SMP) out of public intervention this week after the Commission recommended to refuse all the offers on the count that they were well below prevailing market prices.
Offers were received for a total of 7 490 tonnes in this current tender, the prices offered ranged from €155/100kg to €190/100 kg, well below the minimum price set at the first tender on 15 December of €215.1/100kg.
The tender to put on sale the skimmed milk powder that entered into public intervention before 1 November 2015 (some 22 000 tonnes) started on 25 November. The quantities offered for sale represent roughly 6% of the total 354 000 tonnes which went into public storage in 2015 and 2016.
The move to release these first volumes reflects encouraging signs of recovery on the European milk market. Following a steady slow-down, no further quantities of skimmed milk powder have been put into public intervention since September 2016.
Yesterday's decision to refuse all offers and wait for better bids at the next tender underlines once more that selling at any cost has never been an option for the Commission. Instead, maintaining market balance and price recovery remain its main objectives.
A fourth tender for the sale of the remaining quantity (21 962 tonnes) of SMP has been opened, with 7 February 2017 as the deadline for submitting bids.