Milk prices last January increased by 7.48p/L (9c/L) in Northern Ireland compared to January 2016 levels, the latest figures show.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) also show that milk production on dairy farms in the North decreased by 1.1% in the first month of 2017.

In January of this year, the average farm-gate price of milk in Northern Ireland was 25.98p/L (30c/L).

This price included all retrospective bonuses and was considerably higher than the 18.5p/L (21c/L) on offer 12 months previously.

The average farm-gate price of milk did drop by 1.1p/L (1c/L) from December to January; milk prices stood at 27.08p/L (31c/L) in December 2016, figures show.

This milk price drop followed on from six months of consecutive month-on-month milk price increases.

The volume of milk produced from dairy farms in the North totalled 186.47m litres in January 2017, 1.1% lower than the previous year.

Despite the slight drop in milk production figures compared to January 2016, production did increase considerably in January on the previous month’s levels.

Some 10.59m litres of additional milk was produced in January on farms in the North than what was produced during the month of December, figures show.

This represented the fourth consecutive month of milk production increases in Northern Ireland, according to figures from DAERA.

Meanwhile, the weighted average farm-gate price of milk during all of 2016 was 20.21p/L (31c/L), 0.6p/L (0.1c/L) lower than the same period in 2015.

Annual milk production in Northern Ireland also reportedly decreased by 2.5%; bringing the total produced in 2016 to 2,209.12m litres.

Milk Production falls by 4.6% in the Republic of Ireland

Similar to Northern Ireland, milk production on dairy farms in the Republic of Ireland reported a decrease in the first month of 2017.

Irish milk production fell by 4.6% for January, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 140.9m litres for January 2017, compared to 147.6m litres for the corresponding month in 2016.

Last January, the total milk sold for human consumption increased by 4.1% to 44.3m litres, the latest figures from the CSO show.

However, butter production dropped by 1% to 5,000t in January 2017 compared to the same month in the previous year.

The drop in January milk production comes after it was revealed that Irish milk production in 2016 increased by 4.4% on 2015 levels.