Will cheese stocks be boosted by Irish milk production growth?

Published 25 June 15

Milk deliveries in Ireland have increased by 4% in the first 4 months of 2015, mostly due to a 14% jump in April as quotas no longer held back production. The sharp upturn in milk production has led many to ask what this extra milk will be used for. Particularly, there is the question of whether UK cheese manufacturers will be facing pressure from an increase in Irish Cheddar coming onto the markets later in the year.

Without any published monthly data on Irish cheese production, there is no definitive way to tell if it has increased this year. However, production figures for butter and skimmed milk powder (SMP) in the first four months of the year suggest this is possible as neither butter nor SMP production has increased in line with milk supplies. In fact SMP production was 2,000 tonnes lower (13%) over the four months to April than it was last year. This is rather surprising given the recent investments made in milk powder processing, although it may be in part due to the current low prices.

 Irish production trends