Intervention Board;s 9.8m-litre clanger

Friday, 16 January, 1998

By FWi staff

INTERVENTION Board officials have revised their milk output figures for the week ended 3 January after they over-estimated production by almost 10 million litres.

Initial estimates shocked the UK dairy when they suggested weekly milk output had jumped to almost 256m litres – 13m litres more than the last week of December.

Yesterday that figure was revised down by 9.8m litres to 246,115,455 litres.

“Some of the first figures we get from the dairies are only estimates and they are often revised a week or so later,” an IB spokesman told FWi.

Meanwhile, if the latest provisional output figures are correct, national milk output continues to rise.

First estimates of deliveries to selected purchasers for the week ended 10 January are estimated at 247,378,774 litres – a rise of 1.26m litres on the week.

Dairy farmers face the biggest super-levy charge ever when the milk year ends in April. UK milk production is still well over profile and shows little sign of levelling out, said Huw Rees, quota specialist at the Milk Marque Quota Agency.

Farmers buying quota this week in the hope of avoiding a hefty super-levy saw the cost of 4% butterfat climb by 10p to almost 60ppl.

“The panic really set in when everyone saw the December figures confirmed,” said Ian Powell of the ADAS National Transfer Service.

According to Caroline Carr, of agents Ian Potter Associates, quota continues to be in very short supply.

“Its crazy – were selling all the quota we have as soon as it comes on to the market,” she said. “Situations like this might make farmers a little reluctant to believe everything the Intervention Board says.”

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