UK milk production confusion

Published 21 December 16

The current Defra UK milk production figures are causing some confusion in the industry. After queries from AHDB, Defra has investigated their September and October figures and acknowledged these values are too high. Revised figures for both months will be published by Defra on 5 January.

AHDB undertakes a daily deliveries survey each week, covering approximately 66% of UK milk deliveries. This survey gives us an indication of what the monthly milk production figures are likely to be. Those daily deliveries suggest production in September was around 1,075m litres and October was around 1,111m litres.

The table below summarise the numbers currently available. While the AHDB figure is only an estimate based on our daily deliveries survey, we believe it is the closest estimate available and Defra has confirmed to AHDB that their updated figures will be in line with these estimates.


Defra current figure

AHDB estimate

AHDB estimate as year-on-year

September 2016

1,099m litres

1,075m litres


October 2016

1,131m litres

1,111m litres


November 2016


1,074m litres


Source: Defra, AHDB

To help aid clarification going forward, AHDB will be revamping its daily deliveries webpage in the New Year.