New Zealand’s milk production for 2018 is now forecast to continue its downward moving trend established over the last four years. At 21.36 million metric tons (MMT), milk production is expected to be 0.8 percent below last year’s production as a result of low pasture growth early in 2018 and lower cow numbers in the second half of the year.
Weather conditions changed abruptly to very hot temperatures and limited rainfall during the start of summer, after a cold and wet 2017 spring. Consequently, pasture growth slowed down significantly. Although most regions experienced intermittent rainfall in January 2018 and sufficient rainfall thereafter, cow production was affected and has not recovered like it did in February through May 2017.
With decreasing cow numbers for the second half of 2018 and lower cow stocking rates per hectare, Post forecasts average daily milk production per cow will be just above the average for the last five years.
Specific production and trade:
New Zealand dairy product companies are focusing on exporting products like Whole milk powder(WMP)
Export opportunities for WMP have grown during last six months even though exports to China is highest for the present. Export demand drives the profitability of WMP versus the other commodities, which in turn influences production volumes. Close to 97 % of WMP produced in New Zealand is exported. New Zealand’s scale and efficiency in WMP production allows it to generally be more profitable than its competitors. WMP production is the backbone to the whole dairy production sector in New Zealand.