The threat of bankruptcy continues to haunt Danish dairy farmers.
Already in the first four months of this year, 32 dairy farms have gone belly up, creating the very real possibility that 2016 could surpass last year’s sad total of 60 bankruptcies.
“There is no doubt that this is a historic crisis for dairy producers,” Klaus Kaiser, the business administration manager at agriculture and food agency Landbrug & Fødevarers, told DR Nyheder.
Low prices, low demand
Extremely low milk prices coupled with the farmer’s high debt is behind the skyrocketing number of bankruptcies. And there are probably many more to come.
Calculations suggest that about 700 of the country’s 3,300 dairy farmers are in crisis, and 400 of those are teetering on the edge of insolvency.
“It is hard to remember a time when things were this bad for dairy producers,” said Kaiser.
Farmers are currently making less than two kroner per litre.
Too much milk
Kaiser said that low global milk prices coupled with the EU lifting milk quotas and allowing European dairy farmers to produce as much milk as they please is creating chaos in the market.
The Russian ban on food imports from the EU has also resulted in a reduced demand.
“The combination of relatively weak demand and a larger supply of milk in the EU has led to significant price decreases,” said Kaiser. “I am afraid it will be well into 2017 before we see more normal conditions for dairy farmers.”