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Analysis Dairy

Milk production in New Zealand drops

May 6, 2024 - Alex Jurvillier

The milk production in New Zealand took a dip in March. This is evident from the recently published figures from DCANZ, showing that the milk supply of 1.75 million tons is the lowest in three years. Drought and irrigation restrictions are causing trouble for dairy farmers. In contrast, Australian milk supply exceeds production from previous years.

In March, the milk production was 1.75 million tons, which is 8.46% lower than February, when the production was 1.81 million tons. Compared to March of last year, New Zealand's milk production in March 2024 was 63,000 tons lower, a decrease of 3.47%. The total production in 2024 until March stands at 5.99 million tons. Compared to the 5.98 million tons from last year in the first three months, it is slightly higher, but not by much.

The weather phenomenon El Niño plays a role in the decline of March. It is said to have caused drier weather conditions than usual. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA, many dairy farms in the country are facing the effects of drought. In addition, there are irrigation restrictions imposed due to low groundwater levels. Hopes are pinned on better weather conditions in New Zealand.

Australia's milk production in March 2024 was 596.4 million liters, higher than March 2023. In March 2023, the production was 580.3 million liters, which is 2.8% lower. The milk supply in February 2024 was 601.8 million liters, 0.9% higher. El Niño is said to have passed according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, as reported by USDA. Attention is now focused on the developments regarding La Niña. It remains uncertain whether this weather phenomenon, the opposite of El Niño, will develop later in the year.

Alex Jurvillier

Alex Jurvillier is a market specialist in sugar and cacao at DCA Market Intelligence. He also monitors the milk supply in the most important dairy countries and keeps an eye on developments in food.
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