7 March 1997

UK above quota?

MILK production figures due out on Monday are expected to show the UK back over quota.

February output is thought to have been about 52m litres over the monthly profile, after adjusting for butterfat. This compares with a cumulative deficit of 32m litres at the end of January, giving a new surplus of about 20m litres.

Milk output continues to run ahead of target by about 14m litres a week and some super-levy now seems inevitable.

Against this, the Intervention Board this week indicated that about 29m litres has been permanently converted from direct sale to wholesale quota. The selective cull, already running in Northern Ireland, is due to start on the mainland next week. These will limit the extent of super-levy.

bill.