EU dairy cows to decline?

Published 27 April 16

Forecasted figures from a number of EU countries suggest cattle numbers are to fall marginally this year. The EU Beef Forecasting Working Group figures suggests dairy cows from 7 major milk producing EU countries, will fall by 83k head (0.5%) between 2015 and 2016.

Milk production has possibly not achieved the levels that were expected so far this year. This combined with the forecasted dairy cow numbers suggests production growth over the remainder of 2016 will be limited. However, growth is more likely to continue in the Netherlands and Ireland as cow numbers are expected to rise, up 25k and 70k head respectively. This is despite reports that Dutch farmers should be culling 60-100k cows before the end of 2016 to comply with EU phosphate limits. In the UK, a marginal increase has been forecasted. 

k head

2015

2016

% change

Germany

4,285

4,229

-1.3%

France

3,660

3,623

-1.0%

Poland

2,134

2,081

-2.5%

UK

1,918

1,923

0.3%

Italy

1,827

1,790

-2.0%

Netherlands

1,665

1,690

1.5%

Ireland

1,240

1,310

5.7%

Source: EU Beef Forecasting Working Group