Northern production hits November record as milk prices rise above 33p/L

Northern Ireland milk production has hit its highest ever November yield as dairy farmers produced 171 million more litres of the while stuff compared to the same month the year before, the latest official figures show.

It’s the most milk the region has ever produced in the month of November since the Department of Agriculture’s figures began in 2000 and follows an October where yields fell slightly below 2015 levels.

It also marks the first time farm-gate prices – including retrospective bonuses – have went upwards of 33p/L since before the crash – the last time being in March 2014.

Volume

In November, the volume of raw milk produced on Northern Ireland farms rose 9.7% on the year before. The previous November highest was in 2015 when production sat at 164.5 million litres.

Throughout 2016 as a whole, farmers produced 2,198 million litres. Production peaked in May 2017 at just under 229 million litres.

Northern Ireland milk price statistics show the average producer prices for raw milk sold off-farm and the volume of raw milk collected from Northern Ireland farms from 2000 to 2017.

Collecting the figures

The statistics are collated by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) – tracking price and production levels each month since January 2000.

The figures use the average Northern Ireland farm-gate prices calculated from monthly surveys of milk purchasers in Northern Ireland.

Average producer prices for raw milk include all retrospective bonuses paid to date and are subject to further minor adjustments, to take account of any future retrospective payments.

Transport charges have been deducted, but there has been no deduction in respect of any super-levy liabilities.

Prices

The weighted average farm-gate price between January and November shows prices sitting at 28.67p/L  9.0p/L higher than the same period in 2016.

In November, the Northern Ireland average farm gate price of milk (including retrospective bonuses) was 33.28p/L – 6.7p/L higher than November 2016.

The last time prices were above 33p/L was in March 2014, when prices sat at exactly 33.73p/L. Milk prices hit their highest ever recorded in Northern Ireland in November 2013 – at 34.72p/L.

Over the year-to-date – from January until the most recent figures in November – the volume of raw milk produced was 2,096.5 million litres; 3.6% higher than the same period in 2016.