EU-28 Milk Production Update – Dec ’14
According to Eurostat, Oct ’14 EU-28 milk production continued the recent trend of production growth, increasing 3.3% YOY. Monthly production of 11.8 million MT (26.1 billion lbs) set a new record high for October, although production declined 2.9% MOM on a daily average basis as milk production continues to seasonally decline until lows are typically reached in November. Absolute monthly YOY production gains were led by the U.K. (+70,500 MT), Italy (+69,410 MT) and Germany (+56,770 MT). Greece, Malta, Cyprus and Denmark were the only member states with lower YOY production, with production declining 6.6%, 6.1%, 3.3% and 0.7%, respectively. The four member states with lower YOY production accounted for only 4.0% of total EU-28 production in Oct ’14. The EU-28 has experienced 16 consecutive months of YOY monthly production gains. Strong production throughout the past several months has been attributed to high milk prices, favorable weather, expanding dairy herds and more than adequate feed and forage supplies. The Oct ’14 YOY gain of 3.3%, however, was the lowest YOY increase on a percentage basis in 14 months. According to USDA AMS, farmgate milk prices have declined to the point where producers who are over quota are taking steps to reduce or eliminate over quota production. Culling rates have increased in Europe as many producers are culling their lower producing cows. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland and Poland are all currently trending over quota levels. EU-28 milk production may have also been affected by the Russian ban of EU dairy exports announced in early August. According to USDA, in 2013 Russia accounted for 33% of EU cheese exports, 25% of EU butter exports, and 27% of EU AMF exports with total 2013 EU exports into Russia estimated to equal 1.5% of EU’s milk production. According to USDA AMS, undetermined volumes of Eastern European raw milk and cream are finding their way to Belarus manufacturing facilities, with the assumption that some of the manufactured dairy products from these shipments are being exported to Russia. Baltic States’ producers, however, are struggling to find new markets for their dairy products that were previously exported to Russia prior to the import embargo. Despite the recent below-trendline production growth, ’14-’15 YTD EU-28 production remains up 4.8% throughout the first seven months of the production season.