Milk production in Northern Ireland falling, as prices still below those of 2015

In July the average farm gate price of milk in Northern Ireland, including retrospective bonuses, was 18.47p/l, falling by 0.45p/l compared to July 2015, according to the Northern Irish Department of Agriculture.

Statistics collected by the department show the average producer prices for raw milk sold off farm and the volume of raw milk collected from Northern Ireland farms from 2000 to 2016.

This is the lowest level milk prices in Northern Ireland has fallen to in the month of July since 2009, when the price stood at 15.58p/l, statistics show.

In contrast, the price of milk reached 31.02p/l in July 2013, and has been on the decrease since then with the sharpest fall happening in July 2015 when the price fell by close to 10p/l.

Statistics published by the department also show that the weighted average farm gate price of milk during January to December 2015 was 20.77p/l, compared to 29.31p/l in the same period in 2014.

In July 2016 the volume of raw milk produced from reached 191.94m litres, 5.98% lower than July 2015, figures show.

Meanwhile, in the period from January to December 2015 the volume of raw milk produced was 266.26m litres, 2.8% higher than the same period in 2014.

Net producer price (pence per litre) Source DAERA
Net producer price (pence per litre) 2010 to 2016. Source: DAERA

The department runs a compulsory monthly survey of registered milk purchasers in Northern Ireland
to collect information on the volume and value of milk purchased, transport costs and the
value of bonuses paid.

The fall in milk production has led some UK dairy processors to increase September’s milk price, with prices up by 0.75-1p/L (0.88-1.17c/L).

The Head of Procurement with Dairy Crest in the UK, Ruth Askew said the processor will increase its September milk price by 1p/L (1.17c/L).

“We are increasing our milk price against a backdrop of falling UK milk production. Dairy Crest wanted to reflect this in our milk price as soon as possible,” she said.