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Amid curbs, milk procurement price to be slashed in Maharashtra

If brought into effect this would be the second price correction dairy farmers would have to bear in less than a week.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
April 13, 2021 1:26:15 pm
India's Milk demand, Milk demand down, India lockdown, India coronavirus, India festive season, Uttar Pradesh milk business, Amroha milk production, Indian expressAs hotels, restaurants and tea shops remain shut, dairies have reported a significant dip in their sales.

As talks of an imminent lockdown in Maharashtra gains ground, dairies in the state have announced a further correction in the procurement price of milk. Starting from April 16, some of the private dairies have decided to pay Rs 25 per litre for milk as against the prevalent rate of Rs 27/litre.

If brought into effect this would be the second price correction dairy farmers would have to bear in less than a week. On April 11, dairies had announced a Rs 3/litre reduction in prices for milk with 3.5 per cent fat and 8.5 per cent SNF(solid-not-fat).

This was a direct reaction to the dip in demand for milk due to the curbs put in place across the state to control the covid-19 infections. As hotels, restaurants and tea shops remain shut, dairies have reported a significant dip in their sales.

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Several dairy owners in the state foresee a further dip in demand for milk and milk products in the days to come.”The present stock of Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) with us had incurred a production cost of Rs 270-280/kg. Domestic prices of SMP have since then dipped to Rs 200-210/kg so it would not be possible to sell the same at a profit. We have no other but to announce a further Rs 2/litre correction from April 16,” said a private dairy owner from Pune district.

Asked about the possibility of a price correction, Dasarath Mane, chairman and managing director of Indapur based Sonai Dairy did not rule the same out. But he was quick to add that it would be a temporary phenomenon. “We have decided not to go below Rs 25/- as the procurement price. Any further correction would be detrimental to the farmer and the trade in general,” he said.

Mane hoped that demand for milk and dairy products would pick up post-June when the lockdown and the COVID 19 cases would taper down. “At present, the international prices of SMP are quite good. Exports of SMP and white butter can help the dairy to maintain their bottom line,” he said.

Meanwhile RS Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation- the cooperative giant which retails under brand Amul- ruled out any immediate correction in procurement prices. “Our prices are in the range of Rs 27-29/liter and we will continue paying the same. A lockdown would certainly dip the effects but that would be temporary. Overall there is a shortage in milk in the country which should keep procurement prices high,” he said.

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