The lingering impact of summer

Published 18 December 18

At a global level, year-on-year milk production growth has continued to slow in the final months of 2018 as the lingering effects of the dry summer become even more apparent, according to Rabobank’s latest report.

Milk production growth has stalled in Europe and significantly declined in Australia as a result of the adverse weather limiting availability of quality silage. In the three months from July to September, global production growth sank to just 0.8% on the year, and numbers for the final quarter of the year are indicative of similarly modest growth rates.

Rabobank predicts that Australian milk production is down by 4% (July to October) and European production only increased by 1.2% (January to September). It is expected that the summer drought will continue to impact production into the spring of 2019 in some European countries as they are still experiencing significant soil moisture deficits.

In contrast, New Zealand remains the star producer with new records set for peak milk flows in October. June to October collections were up 6% on the year, and consequently Rabobank’s full-year season milk production forecast through to Q2 2019 has been lifted to 4.5%. Plentiful pasture growth has allowed supplementary feed to be harvested to cover any unexpected dry periods. A slowdown in New Zealand milk production growth is likely going into 2019 and 2020 as the exceptional seasonal conditions of this year are unlikely to be repeated.