Dairy Output Pulls Back Significantly

GLOBAL - After more than two years of expansion, output from the five major exporters (EU, US, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina) was estimated to be down 0.1 per cent in the third quarter, according to the US Dairy Export Council in its latest 'Global Dairy Market Outlook'.
calendar icon 4 December 2012
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US Dairy Export Council


Milk deliveries were estimated to be off 1.1 per cent in the third quarter. Poor weather and tight margins have driven output lower. Production is down in key regions including France, Ireland and the UK. Meanwhile, Germany and the Netherlands are near year-ago levels.

United States

Heavier culling this year, compounded by the summer drought, has put the United States in contraction mode. Cow numbers dropped 84,000 head in six months. Production was down 0.2 per cent in the August-October period. Margins have improved slightly, but a quick improvement is not expected.

New Zealand

The 2012/13 season is off to a good start. Output was up 8.4 per cent in the July-September period. For the full year, production is projected to be up 2-3 per cent on top of last year’s record pace.


Milk production was up 2.1 per cent in the third quarter. 2012-13 production is projected to be 2 per cent higher than last year.


After two years of double-digit growth, milk deliveries were down 2.2 per cent in the third quarter as unfavorable weather impacted productivity.

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