Scale of milk price fall is confirmed

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According to DEFRA figures, the average UK farmgate price stood at 24.99ppl in March.

This was a 2.22ppl (8.1%) decrease on the February average price. The March price was 8.72ppl (25.9%) lower than the same month last year.

The GB average price was 25.45ppl in March, which was a 2.61ppl (9.3%) decrease on the previous month. This was a decrease of 8.25ppl (24.5%) compared with March 2014.

The Northern Ireland (NI) average for March was 22.54ppl, an increase of 0.04ppl (0.2%) compared with February. The March price is 11.19ppl (33.2%) lower than the previous year.

The March EU weighted average milk price stood at €31.57/100kg (23.49ppl), down €0.29/100kg (0.9%) on the previous month. Compared with the previous year, the weighted average EU price for March was down €7.75/100kg (19.7%), this was a decrease on the year of 10.16ppl.

Looking at the top-five milk producing countries for this month (Germany, France, UK, Netherlands and Italy), the average March price was €32.82/100kg which was a €0.17/100kg (0.5%) decrease compared with the previous month.

Meanwhile, provisional UK production in April 2015 amounted to 1,299m litres, up by 20m litres on last year’s figure, equivalent to a 1.5% increase. Cumulative deliveries for the 2014/15 milk year stood at 14,394m litres, which is 715m litres (5.2%) more than the 2013/14 milk year.

GB deliveries stood at 1,091m litres in April 2015, 16m litres (1.5%) higher than April 2014. NI monthly milk production stood at 208m litres, 4m litres (2.0%) higher than the same month last year.

Final Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) figures confirm world cows’ milk production in 2013 stood at 636 million tonnes, with the top ten producing countries accounting for 56.1% of production. The USA is the largest cow’s milk producer in the world accounting for 14.4% of world production, producing 91 million tonnes in 2013, an increase of 0.4% when compared to 2012.

India is the second largest cow’s milk producer, accounting for 9.5% of world production and producing nearly 61 million tonnes in 2013. The UK is the 10th largest producer in the world producing nearly 14 million tonnes in 2013 and accounting for 2.2% of world cow’s milk production.

Of the top ten largest milk producing countries, Turkey and Brazil have shown the largest percentage growth from 2012 to 2013 at 4.2% and 6.0%, respectively. Meanwhile, China’s production has fallen by 5.6% during the same period.