Dry weather hits milk production across Europe. Could boost milk prices
Due to unfavourable weather conditions, the expected increase in EU milk production this year has been lower than anticipated.
This could lead to higher milk prices in the 2nd half of 2018, according to a latest outlook by the European Commission
In the first quarter of 2018, EU milk collection was more than 2pc higher than last year.
Despite the large dairy herd, production growth was slightly less than expected. The main reasons were the cold and wet weather conditions delaying grass growth in early spring, followed by a lack of precipitation in some Member States.
At the peak of the milk season (April-June), the availability and quality of pastures is key not only for providing good pasture but also for building up forage resources for the following months.
After a late start, grass productivity in France is now back to normal in the main milk producing regions. Ireland and the UK, are still catching up in this respect.
In addition, Denmark, and wider areas around the Baltic Sea are now affected by relatively higher seasonal temperatures and a lack of precipitation.
On the other hand, farmers were able to use more feed concentrates thanks to higher margins at the end of 2017 and the expected higher milk price in the second half of the year, thus partly compensating for lower forage availability.