UK milk production falling but still above last year
Average UK daily milk deliveries fell by 1.4% in the first five weeks of 2016, instead of increasing during January as they have previously, according to the AHDB.
It says for the last three years, deliveries have increased by an average of 2.7% over the same period, as they usually start their rise towards the spring peak.
Despite the fall, the AHDB says average daily deliveries for the week ending February 6 were still 1.2% above the same week last year.
“If production were to drop to last year’s level and track there until April, the UK would finish the milk year at around 14.8bn litres.
“This would still be 3% up from the year before and the highest recorded for nearly thirty years,” AHDB says.
However, it also notes that according to the MET Office, the last three months have been the wettest November to January period in the UK for more than fifty years.
As a result, wet ground conditions could hamper turn-out and delay the start of the seasonal lift in UK production.
According to the European Commission’s Milk Market Observatory, EU milk collection increased by 5.5% in November 2015 compared to the same month last year.
Total milk deliveries in the first 11 months of 2015 have been 2.2% higher than in the same period in 2014.
The CSO has today released its official figures for Irish milk production in 2015 the first full year post quota.
Irish milk supplies were over 13.3% or 750m litres higher over the course of 2015 compared to 2014.
This reflected milk quota removal in April 2015, a 6% rise in the dairy breeding herd and excellent grass growing conditions
The domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 179.3m litres for December 2015.
This was 30.3% above the corresponding 2014 figure, according to the CSO figures.