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Less milk in New Zealand in tail end of season

June 18, 2024 - Eric de Lijster

Dairy farmers in New Zealand have worked towards the end of the milking season at a slower pace. Milk production for the month of April is significantly lower in the country compared to last year. This follows the trend that started in March. Drought has significantly affected dairy farms.

According to the figures from DCANZ, milk production in April has decreased by 4.1% to over 1.46 million tons. In March, milk supply in New Zealand already decreased by 3.5% due to unfavorable weather conditions. Drought during the New Zealand summer (January to March) led to reduced grass growth in many areas. There were also irrigation bans to maintain groundwater levels. As a result, the season, which runs until June 1, ends on a low note for the New Zealand dairy industry.

As shown in the graph, milk production during the 2023/24 milking season has been fairly consistent with the previous season and the five-year average. In the first eleven months of this season, milk production reached over 20.2 million tons, only 0.5% less than the same period in the previous 2022/23 season.

The milking season in New Zealand peaks from September to January. In the following months, dairy farmers gradually prepare for winter, which runs from June to August. During this period, cows are dried off for calving, and there is less fresh grass available, leading to a traditional decrease in milk production.

Eric de Lijster

Eric de Lijster is the director of Market Research & PRA at DCA Market Intelligence. As a scion of a farming family, farming blood runs through Eric's veins. He considers himself a generalist but with a passion for economics, trends, markets, and marketing.
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