Milk production levels in Northern Ireland fall by 5% in August

The volume of milk produced on Northern Ireland farms in August of this year was 171.3m litres, 5.3% lower than August 2015, according the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Meanwhile, the farm-gate milk price increased in August of this year compared to 2015, DERA statistics show.

In August 2016 the Northern Ireland average farm-gate price of milk, including retrospective bonuses, was 19.77p/L (22.39c/L), an increase of 0.96p/L (1.08c/L) in the same month last year.

On the other hand, the volume of raw milk produced in Northern Ireland in 2015 was 2.2m litres, which represented a rise of 2.8% compared to 2014, it shows.

Statistics for this period show that the weighted average farm-gate price of milk during 2015 was 20.79p/L (23.54c/L), a drop 8.53p/L (9.66c/L) on the price received in 2014.

Source: DAERA
Source: DAERA

Farm-gate milk prices

DAERA has calculated the farm gate prices from monthly surveys of milk purchasers in Northern Ireland.

Average producer prices for raw milk include all retrospective bonuses paid to date and are subject to further minor adjustments to take account of any future retrospective payments, according to DAERA.

Transport charges have been deducted, but there has been no deduction in respect of any super-levy liabilities.

Source: DAERA
Farm-gate milk prices in Northern Ireland Source: DAERA

The statistics show that the farm-gate milk price has been increasing steadily since June, when it had fallen to 17.61p/L (19.94c/L).

The current average milk price for the first eight months of the year stands at 18.37p/L (20.8c/L).

Raw Milk Production levels

As can be seen from the table, raw milk production has been decreasing in Northern Ireland since May of this year, with the total level of production up until August of this year adding up to 1,568.39m litres.

Raw milk production levels in Northern Ireland Source: DAERA
Raw milk production levels (millions of litres) in Northern Ireland Source: DAERA

Falling milk production in Northern Ireland is in line with the rest of the UK, as the volume of milk produced on UK dairy farms is expected to fall by a massive one billion litres in 2016, according to the UK Dairy Group.

The UK supply has fallen at a consistent rate of 6-7% per month since April, it says, and it shows no sign of stopping.

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