Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 1,100.3 million (1.1 billion) litres for May 2019, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

This was 10.8 % above the corresponding 2018 figure, the office notes.

Comparing the May 2019 milk produce figures with those for May 2018 shows that the total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 1.6 % to 46.2 million litres, down from 47 million in 2018.

Source: Central Statistics Office

In addition, it was found that butter production was up 13.1 % to 31,100t.

Meanwhile, from January to May this year, some 3,234.4 million litres have been recorded in the domestic milk intake.

This is some 11.5% higher than the 2,899.6 million litres recorded during the same period in 2018.

In terms of sales, skimmed and semi-skimmed milk sales was marginally up, with 18 million litres sold in May 2019, compared to 17.9 million last year.

Skimmed milk powder (SMP) recorded an increase in May sales this year; 26,000t of SMP were sold in May 2019, compared to 20,400t in the same month last year.

2018 farmer operating surplus down 16.8%

Meanwhile, the final estimates for the outputs, inputs and incomes in agriculture for 2018 was also released by the CSO today, showing that the total farmer operating surplus was down 16.8% last year.

This represents a decrease of €576 million since 2017. The surplus dropped from around €3.4 billion in 2017 to roughly €2.8 billion last year.

According to the CSO, the main reason for this change was an increase of €690 million in “intermediate consumption”.