A recent report, released by dairy giant Fonterra, revealed a continued decline in Australia’s milk production, a flat US and EU milk production and a good start to the New Zealand milking season.

In terms of New Zealand milk production – for the 12 months up until July 2019 – it was 2.2% higher than the same period last year.

Looking at the month of July, milk production increased by 4.8% or 23.5 million kg of MS when compared to July 2018.

Fonterra partly attributes this increase in production to the good conditions at the start of the season, along with the winter milk supply.

In terms of the season-to-date collections – which include the months of June and July – they were 32.7 million kg of MS or 4.7% ahead of last year.

According to Fonterra, this increase over last season is small in the context of the full season and is due to a relatively mild July across much of the country – supporting good pasture cover.

Turning to Australia, its milk production for the 12 months up to June 2019 was down 8.2% on the previous 12 months.

This decline is set to continue for this coming season, as Dairy Australia is forecasting a decrease in the 2019/2020 season of 3% to 5% in total milk production – on the back of reduced herd sizes and strained farmer finances.

So far, for the first month (July 2019) of the 2019/2020 season, milk collections were back 5.4 million kg of MS or 28.9% on July last season.

This, Fonterra says, is due to the drought in 2019 which has led to an increase in cow cull rates, a significant number of farm retirements and a continuation of historically high input costs.


Outside of the southern hemisphere, EU milk production has decreased by 0.3% for June 2019 compared to the same period last year.

This, it said, was due to a slowdown in production in response to the summer heatwave – which impacted Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Finland.

Aside from this, milk production in Ireland continues to grow – up 7.5% in June 2019 versus June 2018.

Finally, looking at milk production in the US, it has remained unchanged in July 2019 versus June 2018 at eight billion litres. This was almost the same for the 12-months up to July, with a 0.3% increase compared to the same period last year.

This lack of production growth, according to Fonterra, is likely due to poor on-farm profitability leading to to an increase in culling.