The continued decline in cow numbers combined with high temperatures last year resulted in a fractional fall in milk production in the EU during 2022, according to latest analysis.
The latest Dairy Market Review published by the Food And Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) highlights that a lack of rain and inflationary pressures also impacted on milk production.
According to the FAO milk output was estimated at “232.6 million tonnes” in 2022 in Europe as a whole.
This represented a slight 0.6% year-on-year decline, mainly due to output drops in the Ukraine, the EU, the UK and Norway.
The latest review shows that milk output in Ukraine fell back by as much as 16% on 2021 figures.
This, according to the FAO, reflected “the damages to the country’s farming infrastructure due to the war, limited logistical support such as transportation and cooling facilities, high input costs and labour shortages”.
The review also details that the international prices of most dairy products fell after hitting near-all-time highs in mid-2022.
World dairy prices rose steeply last year until June but since then have “trended downwards”.
“At its near all-time high, world dairy prices were only 4% below the record high value of the index reached in December 2013,” the report outlined.
It also highlights that world milk output expanded last year but at the slowest pace during the last two decades and that international trade in dairy products contracted following nearly two decades of annual growth.
World milk production reached “around 937.3 million tonnes in 2022” according to the FAO report.
Production drops were noted in Europe, Oceania, and Africa, with similar slowdowns in milk production growth rates in Asia.
The only two regions to record an annual output growth were Central America and the Caribbean.
According to the latest report most world dairy product prices, that constitute the FAO Dairy Price Index (FDPI), increased in the first several months of 2022.
The steepest year-over-year increase was recorded in butter prices, followed by skim milk powder and whole milk powder, but cheese prices continued to increase throughout the year.
According to the FAO Dairy Price Index (FDPI), international dairy product prices, averaged 142.4 points in 2022 for the whole year, an increase of 23.3 points (19.5%) from 2021.