October milk output up
NATIONAL milk output bounced back during the mild October, taking monthly deliveries on a butterfat-adjusted basis over quota for the first time since June.
At 1163m litres the monthly total was 0.34% over the allocated quota and 75m litres up on Septembers total.
But, cumulatively, the UK remains under quota by 0.39%, compared with a 0.66% shortfall at the end of September. In volume terms production is still 252m litres back on the same time last year, equivalent to almost seven days supply.
There are also signs that production is now falling, with recorded deliveries in the week ending Nov 4 put at 254m litres compared with 255m litres the week before. But this decline is seasonal and is predicted by the quota profile.
The quota trade has remained static, with leasing at about 11p/ litre and purchase at 59p/litre. The stand-off between lessees and lessors appears to be continuing, even though only four weeks remain in the trading period.
Quota broker Tony Carver of Bruton Knowles National Quota Exchange believes supply will meet demand. "There must be a substantial volume of unused litres available nationally," he says.
"Less than 650m litres have been recorded on the IB register so far, compared with over 1000m in 1994/95. Conversely, there must be many producers exposed to levy who will be reviewing their quota requirements before Dec 15 in light of the marginal production status." *