GB milk production passes the spring peak with a whimper

Monday, 20 May 2024

There was a downturn in GB daily milk deliveries in the week ending 11 May, suggesting we have passed the peak. According to the latest data, the highest daily figure was 36.92m litres on 8 May* alongside the 7-day rolling average which appears to have peaked at 36.54m litres*.

In 2023 the spring flush was reported as being subdued meaning that we are annualising on an already weak picture.  Deliveries data for the month of May so far (to 11th May 2024) suggests that production is back 2.1% year-on-year. 

Daily deliveries running behind 2023


This is down by 2.9% from our March forecast as the ongoing issues caused by an exceptionally wet Autumn, Winter and Spring caused issues with turnout, grass growth and ability to conduct ground work.  Although the ground has now dried up and grass growth is now steaming ahead with warm and moist conditions so far in May, the slow start could mean the season never has chance to catch up.  Damage to wet ground for some will take time to come back and grass quality will not have benefitted from the difficult start. 

Lack of availability of milk throughout Europe could be a key theme with other markets such as Ireland encountering similar issues.  Margin pressures will not encourage farmers to feed to push production until milk prices improve.  Processors will be watching this situation closely.  We will be revisiting the forecast in June as we understand how lasting the early season damage has been. 


*Please note this data may be subject to future revisions.

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