Despite lower milk prices, EU milk deliveries in 2015 are expected to be nearly 1% above 2014, according to the European Commission's latest outlook for the dairy sector.
It means that after the 1.2% decrease observed in the first three months of the year, until quota expiry. EU milk collection could increase by 1.6% compared to last year, in the remaining months of the year.
However, according to the Commission outlook very different developments can be observed in the different Member States, with a few countries where milk collection increased strongly from the first day after quota expiry, while in other countries no such development is observed.
In the first quarter of 2015, the decrease in deliveries compared to 2014 was particularly noticeable in Cyprus, Ireland, Estonia, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Latvia, Italy, Germany and Denmark.
Most (but not all) of these Member States were at risk of exceeding quota.
The Commission says in other Member States like France, with deliveries well below quota, the decrease resulted more from adjustment to market and price developments. In the UK, a slowdown in milk deliveries was also noticeable.
By contrast, it says farmers in other Member States continued to substantially increase their deliveries despite low milk prices: Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Portugal.
Milk collection rose in Lithuania and Finland too, despite the Russian import ban.
The Commission says some production adjustment due to price signals might occur eventually later in the year in these countries but 2015 is nevertheless expected to show significant production increases in these countries.
In 2016, it says that milk collection might increase by not more than 1%, again assuming a continuation of the Russian import ban: a faster growth of world supply compared to demand might delay the expected rebound in farm milk prices.