September milk intake by Irish creameries and pasteurisers was up 16% year-on-year, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

Milk intake was estimated at 602.4m litres for September 2015.

This figure is 16% up on the 519.2m litres taken in during September 2014. So far this year, some 5326.5m litres of milk has been taken in by Irish creameries and pasteurisers.

This figure is 479.5m litres ahead of the amount of milk collected as of September 2014 (4847m litres).

From January to September 2015, 5,326.6m litres have been collected by creameries and pasteurisers. This figure is up 9.9% on the corresponding period in 2014, the figures show.

Comparing the September 2015 milk produce figures with those for September 2014 shows that total milk sold for human consumption increased by 8.2% to 42.4m litres, the figures show.

The CSO figures show that Irish butter production was up 20.3% to 18,900t.

As of September 2015, 161,600t  of butter has been collected, this is almost at last year’s total amount, which was 166,400t.

EU milk production forecast to be 1% higher this year

In 2015, milk deliveries in the EU are expected around 1% above last year and a further increase might be expected in 2016, the European Commissions Short-Term Outlook predicts.

Clear differences can be noticed between Member States with expected strong increases in volumes in the Netherlands, Ireland, Poland, the UK, Spain and Denmark, according to the outlook.

It found, however, that 2015 production should be lower than last year in France and Germany.

This overall increase might seem surprising given the strong reduction in the price of dairy commodities and of raw milk observed in the last months, however the time-lag from reduced milk prices to change in production levels is usually several months, it said.

The abundant number of dairy cows currently in production results from decisions taken by farmers at least one year ago.