Irish milk production fell by 4.6% in the first month of 2017, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 140.9 million litres for January 2017, compared to 147.6 million litres for the corresponding month in 2016.
Last January, the total milk sold for human consumption increased by 4.1% to 44.3 million litres, the latest figures from the CSO show.
However, butter production dropped by 1% to 5,000t in January 2017 compared to the same month in the previous year, according to the CSO.
The drop in January milk production comes after it was revealed that Irish milk production in 2016 increased by 4.4% on 2015 levels.
Last year, total Irish milk production stood at 6.6 billion litres. This compared to the 6.3 billion litres produced in 2015.
EU milk production: 2016 finishes ahead of 2015
EU milk production decreased by 3.4% in December 2016 on the corresponding month in 2015, the latest figures from the EU’s Milk Market Observatory (MMO) show.
The figures also show that EU milk production ended the year up 0.4% on 2015 levels.
In total, butter production for the year in the EU (last year) increased 2.6% on the year previous.
Skimmed milk powder (SMP) and whole milk powder (WMP) production both increased in 2016 on the year previous by 3.7% and 3.2% respectively.
During the next decade, global and EU production growth is expected to be more moderate, driven by a sustained increase in world demand, albeit at a slower pace than in the past decade, the most recent EU outlook report found.
Still, the EU is expected to become the world’s top exporter of dairy products by 2026, just ahead of New Zealand.
However, despite the expected strong increase in exports, by 2026 more than 85% of EU milk and dairy products will be consumed within the EU, according to the outlook report.