Friday, 23 April 2021
By Chris Gooderham
Our latest three year milk forecast suggests GB will have an extra 210 m litres of milk by 2023/24 compared with 2020/21. If these prediction come true, what does the future of milk utilisation look like, and what might happen further down the line?
If we look at milk utilisation data for the UK, the historic trends we have seen give us an indication of how things could change in the future.
- As overall milk production has increased, the proportion turned into bottles of milk has fallen, estimated at 44% in 2020. If those trends continue, by 2030 only around 38% of milk available for processing is expected to end up in a bottle.
- Cheese, on the other hand, has risen over the last 10 years and further growth is expected. Cheddar, in particular, has seen rapid growth, with 21% of milk turned into Cheddar in 2020. With the UK still a net importer of Cheddar, by 2030, we would expect further growth in domestic production, and the share of milk to rise further, up to 24%.
- Yogurt is another area where production has increased, rising 83% between 2015 and 2020. Similar to Cheddar, as we are net importers of yogurt, further domestic production growth in this area is expected.
- Historically milk trade has increased as milk production in Northern Ireland has risen. There has been a slowdown in trade of fresh milk products since the turn of the year, but this is expected to pick up again out of necessity as we look ahead to 2030.
Making it happen
Despite the higher level of net exports, we will need more assets on the ground if we are to process all the milk we expect to be produced in the future. That investment looks like it should be focused on cheese and yogurt, although we certainly shouldn’t dismiss opportunities to find high value niche products, such as bespoke milk powders, should they deliver a profitable return.
Other products include milk powders, cream, butter and condensed milk
Sign up for regular updates
You can subscribe to receive Dairy market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form and select the information you wish to receive.
While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.