By FWi staff

INTERVENTION board figures show milk production 43 million litres below profile for this year to the end of November – lagging four days behind last year.

Consultant Charles Holt put the lag down to the poor quality of this seasons silage, along with bad weather.

“And if were below quota, there is no need for anyone to get a litre of quota,” he said.

Some dairies will be up at the end of the year and others will be down, and those that are down can go somewhat over before they pay any levy, he said.

Mr Holt believes that December figures will be down as well.

“But there is still a chance that we could catch up by the end of the month. If we do go over nationally it will not be by much,” he said.

It is impossible to say what will happen to quota leasing prices following the release of these figures, said George Paton of Lovedays National Milk Quota Agents.

“Its very difficult to make any forecast because theres not much supply and no indication of any to come. Unless the supply outstrips demand, the price wont come back,” he said.

Demand is immense at the moment, said Mr Paton. And he attributed this to the fact that very few producers actually know the results.

However, Mr Paton agreed that a number of potential lessees have been holding back, waiting for these figures as well as their milk cheques, to see their butter adjustment.

“Theyre leaving it to the last minute. At the moment there are only 21 banking days until Christmas and when the milk cheque comes out there will only be eight,” he said.

These figures should pull the price down, but its impossible to say that they will, he said.

UK wholesale milk production to end-November 1998 Million litres %
Total UK wholesale quota 13 938.1  
Current UK BF base   3.97
Monthly data
Deliveries to purchasers 1042.1  
Weighted average of butterfat content of deliveries   4.16
BF adjusted deliveries 1048.1  
Quota profile 1086.3  
BF adjusted deliveries compared with profile -38.2 -3.64
Cumulative data
Deliveries to purchasers 9133.0  
Weighted average of BF content of deliveries   4.05
BF adjusted deliveries 9313.8  
Quota profile 9356.8