Milk production drops below quota

By FW reporters

MILK production last month fell below quota for the first time in several years and cancelled out the April milk surplus, according to the latest Intervention Board figures.

Physical deliveries of wholesale milk were 1.282 billion litres, compared with last years figure of 1.312bn litres. And this years butterfat content was slightly lower, at 4%, so adjusted deliveries stand at 1.313bn litres, 1.21% under quota.

Butterfat adjusted output for the first two months of the current milk year now stands at 2.524bn litres, just below quota and about 105m litres below last years cumulative figure.

Whether these figures will reduce quota prices remains to be seen. Leased quota prices have levelled out, with 4% butterfat quota trading at 7.1pl, and 3.5-3.6% lots at 6.3p, reports consultant Charles Holt.

“When you can put lower offers in to the big agencies and they accept you know prices have reached a plateau. We have had two months of extremely variable weather. If it continues, we might see June figures down as well. That would add to downward pressure.”

Mike Bessey, independent dairy consultant says UK manufacturers report a disappointing and declining level of milk availability. “Secondary milk supplies are short and spot milk prices are variable,” he says.

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