After a poor start to the year, milk production in the EU-27 has experienced a more positive increase in the last quarter. Annual comparisons, on the other hand, must be considered in the context of reduced production in 2020, when markets were reeling from the imposition of lockdowns.
After accounting for the leap year in 2020, production in the first quarter of 2021 was nearly on par with the previous year. Low production levels in the first half of the year, especially in France and Germany, put a halt to the continent’s rise in the second half of 2020.
Although much of the year-on-year growth is attributable to poor deliveries through the spring of 2020, production levels recovered through the spring. Because of the market closures at the time, milk delivery was slowed in many of the important producing regions (France, Germany, Italy, and Spain).
Overall deliveries in the EU-27 are up 0.6 percent year to date (Jan-Jun). According to the European Commission, EU-27 production will continue to grow for the rest of the year, ending the year with a 0.8 percent increase. This implies a growth rate of a little over 1% in the second half of the year, based on the assumption that raw milk prices will remain high enough to balance growing feed costs.