The average annual price for milk supplied for liquid milk production in 2018 under all registered contracts was 5% lower than in 2017, according to new data from the National Milk Agency (NMA).

The NMA’s Annual Report 2018 shows that, for milk supplied under all-year round (AYR) and winter contracts, the average price for the year was 36.16c/L. This was 1.84c/L lower than the average price for 2017, which was 38c/L.

Meanwhile, the figures also show that the annual average liquid incentive paid under the Manufacturing Milk Price (MMP) system was 3.6c/L to 0.1c/L lower than in 2017.

The study reveals that the average price for registered supplies paid under the MMP system was 36.31c/L, which also represents a decrease of 5%, or around 2.1c/L.

The NMA is the body that regulates the supply of milk for liquid consumption throughout the state. 

Looking at the figures for suppliers, these show that the number of milk producers in the state in 2018 was estimated at 17,000, the same as in 2017. The average milk supply volume per producer was approximately 446,000L.

The total domestic milk supply to creameries and pasteurisers in 2018 was approximately 7.6 billion litres, and increase of 322 million litres, or 4%, in 2017.

94% of these supplies were used in the manufacture of dairy products, which were mainly for export. The remaining 6% of supplies were processed for liquid consumption on the domestic market.

The report highlighted that: “Abnormal weather conditions and a summer drought curtailed milk production in the first eight months of the year. Good autumn weather conditions brought about a surge of 15% in milk supplies in the final four months of the year.”

Fresh milk market

According to the report, the fresh milk market in Ireland had a retail value of €521 million in 2018.

However, 579 million litres of it was consumed last year, a decrease of two million litres on 2017.

With an annual consumption per person of 121L, this makes Ireland the country with the highest per capita fresh milk consumption in the world.

Registered contracts

The number of milk supply contracts in 2018 was 1,749, a decrease of 59 on the previous year.

AYR contracts decreased by 54 to 1,749, while winter contracts decreased by five to 97.

AYR contracts represent the vast majority of contract types, accounting for 94% of contracts and 99% of supplies – similar figures to 2017.