Domestic milk intake was up by 23% in December
Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 253.1 million litres for December 2018, 23.2 pc above the corresponding 2017 figure.
Milk production in Ireland is up over 50pc in total since the removal of the milk quota in 2015.
It comes as Teagasc has forecast a 6pc increase in total Irish milk production in 2019, with a slight increase of 1pc in the dairy enterprise’s land base.
Comparing the December 2018 milk produce figures with those for December 2017 shows that the total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 3.8pc to 42.7 million litres.
Butter production was up 16.9pc to 13,300 tonnes.
In 2018 milk producers experienced a 7pc drop in output prices.
The decrease in the Irish milk price was restricted by lower than anticipated growth in global production.
At an EU level, EU weighted average price for November 2018 was 4.8pc down on the same month a year previous.
Milk production was affected for the first half of 2018 by extreme weather and poor grass growth, with some recovery in Q4.
Due to adverse weather reducing grass growth in 2018, it is estimated that feed bills increased by €25k–€30k during 2018 for the average dairy herd of 90 cows.
In 2018, Irish milk output continued to increase but at lower rates than were expected due to weather conditions. Output is estimated to be up by approximately 3pc in 2018, despite the difficult weather conditions through the spring and summer. The increase in output reflects a very strong last quarter.
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