EU butter production could rebound 3% in 2018

Published 16 October 17

With a forecasted increase in milk production and the potential for a higher fat content, EU butter production could increase by 3% in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the latest EU short-term outlook. The recovery is expected to begin in the second half of 2017. However, it will not be enough to counterbalance the decreased production from the first half of the year, leading to a forecasted overall decrease of 3% between 2016 and 2017. Prices are expected to remain high despite the increase – although below current levels.

This increase in butter production comes from expectations of both increased milk production and a higher butterfat content. Despite a 1% decline in EU cow numbers, milk collection is expected to increase by 0.7% on the year in 2017, and could potentially grow by more than 1% in 2018. Yields are forecast to increase around 2%, due to a higher replacement rate and better feeding, helped by good forage and cheaper feed coupled with higher milk prices. This means the average butterfat content is also expected to improve.

The expected improvement for milk production has resulted in the Commission forecasting improved production for other dairy products too. 

2017.10.19 EU forecast