Liquid milk supplies rise but farmer numbers drop in 2019
While last year saw an overall increase in the amount of milk supplied from winter milkers and year-round dairy farms, the number of registered producers with liquid milk contracts has dropped by 21% for the 2019/2020 milk year, according to the National Milk Agency.
The agency revealed the details in its annual report and accounts for 2019.
It was noted that registered milk producers were a significant producer grouping in the domestic milk supply sector in 2018/19, representing 10% of all milk producers and supplying 13% of domestic milk supplies.
Registered winter producers supplied not only the all-year-round domestic milk requirements for liquid milk consumption but also 9% of domestic manufacturing milk supplies, the agency said.
Supplies for processing for liquid consumption amounted to 452 million litres, or 43% of total supplies of registered producers, while supplies for processing into manufactured dairy products amounted to 597 million litres, or 57% of total supplies.
Milk supplies purchased under registered contracts for processing for liquid consumption exceeded processors’ fresh milk sales by 4% in 2018/19, compared to 5% in 2017/18, mainly due to transitional purchasing arrangements between processors and producers following industry consolidation.
This, the National Milk Agency notes, follows a voluntary restructuring scheme by a major processor of its producer panel for supplies for liquid consumption – which allowed liquid milk producers to switch to manufacturing supply models, with a few liquid milk suppliers to other processors also making the change.
In 2018/19 these producers had total supplies of 203 million litres of which 71 million litres were supplies for liquid consumption, which represented 16% of total registered supplies for liquid consumption.
Registered producers with All Year Round contracts in 2018/19 had average annual supplies of 670,000L compared with 616,000L in the previous year, an increase of 9%, the report said.