While cumulative Dutch milk collections for 2016 increased by 7.5% compared with the previous year, they are significantly lower than expected. At the end of the first quarter, collections had increased by 18%.

December and November collections in 2016 were on a par with the year before at 1.2m tonnes.

Applications to the EU milk reduction scheme had an effect on collections for the fourth quarter. Dutch dairy farmers applied to the scheme for over 80,000t, the equivalent of a 2.3% milk production reduction in Q4.

However Q4 collections totalled 3.47m tonnes, a 0.63% increase on the same period in 2015.

Ireland’s December milk supply increased marginally in 2016, while in the UK milk collections have fallen.