European Commission looks to extend private storage aid for butter and SMP

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

European Commission looks to extend private storage aid for butter and SMP

Related tags: European union

Private storage aid (PSA) for butter and skimmed milk powder (SMP) - introduced by Brussels in the wake of the Russian embargo - looks set to be extended.

On August 28 2014, the European Commission (EC) announced it it would help finance the cost of temporary storage for butter, SMP and geographical indication (GI) cheese to "alleviate the impact of Russian restrictions on imports for EU dairy products and to limit the negative effects on the internal market."

Weeks earlier, on August 7, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev slapped a one-year ban on the import of beef, pork, poultry, fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products from the European Union (EU), US, Australia, Canada and Norway.

On June 24 2015, Russia extended its ban​ on Western food imports. 

In light of this, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, has proposed extending PSA for butter and SMP to February 29 2016.

PSA for butter and SMP is currently set to end on September 30.

"The proposal announced by Commissioner Hogan is going through the relevant internal procedure that should be concluded soon,"​ an EC spokesperson told DairyReporter.com.

Tonnes of butter and SMP

EU Member States offered a total 108,653 tonnes of butter into PSA between September 8 2014 and July 19 2015.

The Netherlands (44,294 tonnes), France (18,467 tonnes), Ireland (15,663 tonnes), Germany (13,827 tonnes), Belgium (9,204 tonnes) and the UK (5,326 tonnes) were the largest contributors.

Over the same period, 40,045 tonnes of SMP has been offered into PSA by Member States.

Germany (15,237 tonnes), Spain (7,961 tonnes), Lithuania (7,013 tonnes), Ireland (5,226 tonnes) and the Netherlands (3,368 tonnes) accounted for much of the SMP total.

The EC closed the PSA for GI cheese on September 23 2014, blaming a "disproportionate surge in interest from cheese producers in certain regions not traditionally exporting significant quantities to Russia."

Between September 8 and September 28, EU Member States offered 100,803 tonnes of cheese into PSA.

Italy, which exported just 7,207 tonnes of cheese to Russia in 2013, accounted for 84,120 tonnes of this total.

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