European Milk Production Again Goes Positive
Low milk prices and temporary, voluntary production quotas slowed European Union milk output over the past 10 months. But rebounding prices have now encouraged enough production that EU output has now surpassed year-over-year levels in March.The gain is just 3,000 metric tons, or 6.6 million lb, and is technically a zero percent increase, reports U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) staff.
But the March barely-positive numbers are a sign of more milk to come, says USDEC. The increases are being led by Ireland and Poland, which were up 1.1% and 3.5% respectively in the first quarter, and a more robust 4% and 5% in March. Germany and France, the EU’s largest milk producers, were down 4% in the first quarter due to wet, winter conditions.
The Netherlands, which is being forced to deal with cow culling due to mandatory phosphate reductions, still reported an increase in milk output in March.
USDEC marketing experts expect EU milk supplies to grow more than 2% in the second half of the year, with year-over-year increases of some 660 million lb each month. “Expect European exports to remain aggressive to move this growing supply,” says USDEC.