Milk intake by Irish creameries and pasteurisers was down by 1.8% in March when compared to the same month in 2022, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

It is the third consecutive monthly drop in production, with supplies in January and February also down.

The March milk intake was estimated at 793.8m litres, while the CSO also estimates that fat content in the milk taken in by processors increased marginally from 4.33% in March 2022 to 4.34% in March 2023. Protein levels dipped from 3.33% to 3.31% over the same period.

Butter production took a slight hit in March, with a decrease of 3,600t when compared with the corresponding period in 2022. Irish butter production stood at 20,800t in March 2023.

Milk sales

Provisional data for sales of milk for human consumption, which does not include imported packaged milk for retail sale, fell to 43m litres from 43.2m in March 2022.

Milk consumption was up from February 2023 from 36.6m to 43m.

Meanwhile, co-op boards around the country will meet in the coming weeks to decide on a price for April manufacturing milk.