Latest forecast expects production to come under pressure

Published 3 January 19

Milk production has continued to run ahead of expectations through December and the latest revision to the AHDB milk forecast reflects that. However, upward pressure on feed prices and downward pressure on milk prices is still expected to impact milk yields in early 2019.

December GB milk production is currently heading for a total in excess of 1,040m litres. That would be the highest December figure for more than 20 years and 8m litres above last year. Our current expectation is that production will move closer in line with last year as we head through January, with increasing downward pressure on milk yields. As such, we have reduced our forecasts for February and March, and 2018/19 in total is currently expected to come out in line with 2017/18.

GB milk production Jan19.

Looking further ahead, the milking herd is expected to be around 1.6% smaller in spring 2019 compared with spring 2018. However, the overall milk forecast is currently coming out slightly ahead of 2018. This is mainly a result of slightly better yields and an expectation of a return to normal weather conditions. Later in the year the profile of the milk forecast is impacted by historic insemination decisions and shifting calving patterns, with the April 2019 to September 2019 expected to be slightly ahead of the same period last year.

The revised forecast will be used in our daily deliveries to help monitor volumes as the year progresses.

  GB milk forecast Jan19

The forecast is created by looking at historic trends and known factors that will affect the size of the milking herd or milk yields. It should be noted that this forecast includes a number of projections and assumptions that involve risks, variables and uncertainties, and external factors, such as weather, will impact volumes. Consequently, no guarantee is given to the accuracy of the forecast, but it is simply put forward as our best estimate at the time of publication.