Domestic milk intake down 5.7% in December

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 243.8 million litres for December 2019, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

This was 5.7% below the corresponding 2018 figure, the office notes.

Comparing the December 2019 milk produce figures with those for December 2018 shows that total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 2.9% to 42.8 million litres.

Meanwhile, butter production was down 19.3% to 11,240t, according to the CSO figures.

In provisional statistics for the year in full, it was found that 7.99 billion litres of milk were taken in by creameries and pasteurisers in 2019 in total; up more than 400 million litres on the 7.586 billion recorded for the previous year.

Total milk sold for human consumption fell slightly to 42.8 million litres in December, down from 44.1 million litres in December 2018.

Of this, whole milk sales accounted for 26.5 million litres last month, down 500,000L on December 2018s figure of 27 million litres.

Meanwhile, skimmed and semi-skimmed milk sales came to 16.3 million litres; this was also down on the 2018 December figure, which was 17.1 million litres.

On a year-in-full basis, total milk sold for human consumption in 2019 was 535.8 million litres – down 900,000L on the 536.7 million litres sold in 2018.

2019 milk sales comprised whole milk sales of 335.4 million litres and skimmed and semi-skimmed milk sales of 200.4 million litres.

These were up 7.6 million litres (for whole milk sales) and down 8.5 million litres (for skimmed and semi-skimmed milk sales) on the total 2018 year figures respectively, according to the CSO.

Skimmed milk powder sales were down in December 2019, from 11,300t to 10,200t, but up for the year in full, from 133,800t in 2018 to 143,500t last year, according to the provisional figures.