The amount of milk processed by the country’s co-ops was back by 13% in February compared with the same month in 2023.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that supply was back 50m litres to 330.4m litres.

Compared with February 2022, supply is down by just over 10%, with 37.1m fewer litres processed for the month this year.

The fat content for milk for February 2024 was 4.44%, down from 4.46% in February 2023, while protein content also fell from 3.50% to 3.43% in the 12 months to February 2024.

Butter production also decreased in February. Production fell from 11,700t in February 2023 to 7,600t in February 2024.

Downward trend

For the first two months of 2024, domestic milk intake is estimated by the CSO at 478.9m litres. This is a decline of 82.5m litres (14.7%) when compared with the same period in 2023.

Milk supply for January 2023 was down 20%, the CSO confirmed.

The company’s main milk processors told the Irish Farmers Journal last week that they estimated supply to be back by around 10% for the month of March in light of the ongoing weather challenges being faced by farmers.