GB milk production in line with 2016

Published 12 July 17

Following confirmation of May production figures by Defra, previous AHDB estimates of GB milk deliveries have been revised. As such, production during the April-June period this year is now estimated at 3,149m litres, on par with 2016 volumes.

Nonetheless, production has increasingly deviated from the tracker*, peaking earlier than expected and then falling more rapidly than normal. Poor weather and grazing conditions during May, the peak month for deliveries, were likely limiting. Also, the weak financial situation of many farmers may have discouraged additional feeding. As such, by the month of June, production averaged 4% below the level projected by the tracker. 

12.07.17 - original tracker

*AHDB tracker is based on average week-on-week movements for the past five years, applied to production in the middle of March 2017

Deliveries during the spring, and in particular May, are known to associate with overall production for the year. Therefore, it would be unexpected for production to recover to the tracker’s levels later in the year.

As such, the AHDB tracker has been rebased**, taking into account spring production volumes. This will enable us to determine whether milk production is following the usual trend, given deliveries so far this year. While not a forecast, if production were to follow the normal profile for the rest of 2017/18, total GB milk deliveries would be around 11.7bn litres. This is approx. 1% less than the 2016/17 milk year, which saw a stronger than usual winter uplift. 

12.07.17 - new tracker

**Rebased tracker based on average week-on-week movements for the past five years, applied to production in the middle of June 2017