Milk supplies to the country’s dairy processors fell for the month of May.

Supplies were back by 26.4m litres to 1.13bn litres for the month, a decrease of 2.3% compared with the same month in 2023.

Compared with 2022, production was back by almost 3%. Milk supplies have fallen for the fifth consecutive month of 2024, with supplies decreasing each month since March 2023.

For the period January to May 2024, domestic milk intake was estimated at 3.34bn litres, a decline of 210.9m litres (-5.9%) when compared with the same period in 2023 and down by 241m litres (-6.7%) when compared with January to May 2022.


The fat content for May 2024 was 4.05%, up from 3.96% in May 2023, while protein content fell marginally from 3.40% to 3.38% in the 12 months to May 2024.

Skimmed milk powder production was down by 7,700t, from 25,800t in May 2023 to 18,100t in May 2024.

Knock-on effect

Higher operating costs and the drop in supply has resulted in some processors implementing cost cutting measures.

Tirlán announced last month that 150 jobs are to be cut over the coming months. The job cuts will be on a voluntary basis, Tirlán CEO Seán Molloy told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Milk volumes to the co-op are back 8% compared with 2023.

“We are operating in a high-cost environment and it’s difficult to be competitive in a high-cost economy.

"We have seen significant increases in wages and fluctuations in energy costs, as well as being in a strict regulatory environment,

above and beyond the nitrates derogation," Molloy said.

In May, Dairygold cut staff working hours in response to the drop in supply.

"Unfortunately, due to milk volumes being 9% lower than 2023 year to date and the outlook for the year to be around 7% lower, Dairygold has no choice but to take measures to mitigate the impact of reduced milk volumes on the business and milk suppliers," a spokesperson for the company said.

“As a result, Dairygold has made the difficult decision to reduce cheese production over the summer months and allocate milk volumes elsewhere” within the company, she said.

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Dairygold cuts staff working hours due to milk supply drop

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