Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

Milk production almost hits 1 billion litres in May

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 997.0m litres for May 2017, according to latest figures from the CSO.

This was 7.3pc above the corresponding 2016 figure.

Further growth in Irish national milk production has been forecast in 2017. According to Teagasc following the estimated 5pc increase in production in 2016, further growth of 6 percent is forecast in 2017.

The Food Harvest 2020 report forecast that milk production would increase by 50pc by 2020 based on the average milk production during 2007-2009 (4.93 billion litres). Based on 2016 milk production of 6.67 billion litres, Ireland has increased milk production by 35pc (43pc increase based on milk solids) or over two-thirds of the targeted increase.

This increased milk production has resulted in an increase in export of dairy products from approximately €2 billion in 2009 to €3.4 billion in 2016. This recent rapid increase in milk output has brought with it dramatic changes in the structure of Irish dairy farms with almost 50pc of dairy cows now milked in herds of greater than 100 cows.

Comparing the May 2017 milk produce figures with those for May 2016 also shows that total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 0.5pc to 45.1m litres while butter production was up 14.9pc to 28,060t.

Meanwhile, according to the IFA's latest analysis milk deliveries in the EU have been a mixed picture, with Ireland, Poland and more recently the UK continuing on the expansionary trend, while larger countries like Germany and France producing considerably less than in the same period last year. 

It says the upshot is a 1.5pc fall in EU milk collections for the first four months of the year, and a 1.9pc fall for the 12 months to April 2017.

Also Read

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN Biannual Outlook Report is forecasting global milk production to grow by 1.4pc to 831m tonnes in 2017.

Global trade in dairy products is projected to increase by 1pc to 71.8m tonnes of milk equivalent. Recovering milk output in the EU and production growth in the US are anticipated to be the most dynamic factors affecting the international market in 2017.

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