EU milk delivery growth for 2018 despite falls in the EU dairy herd

Published 17 April 18

In their latest short-term outlook, the European Commission (EC) forecast further decline to the EU dairy herd in 2018, but at a slower rate. As of December 2017, there was a 1% decline in the number of dairy cows compared to the period last year, although this was inconsistent across Member States. Of note, in the Netherlands there was a 7% drop in cow numbers whereas in Ireland there was a 4% increase

 EU short term outlook

Despite a reduced dairy herd, the EC forecast milk deliveries to grow by 1.4% in 2018. However, the growth profile is anticipated to vary over the year. In January 2018, collections were 4% ahead of the year earlier. In February and March, adverse weather conditions impeded grass growth and prolonged the time cows were kept in-doors. The knock on effect was a slowdown in milk collection growth, bringing the projected milk collection for Q1 to 3% above last year. The growth is expected to slow for the remainder of 2018.

The full report can be accessed from the EC’s Milk Market Observatory.