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New Zealand. Total milk production is forecast at 22.2 MMT

06.05.2021 15:38 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U. S. Department of Agriculture attache in The Wellington, in New Zealand, even though dairy cow numbers continue to drift downwards, milk production is edging upward. At 22.2 million metric tons (MMT), the forecast for 2021 total milk production would be a calendar year record and 1.2 percent above the 21.98 MMT actually produced in 2020. There are an estimated 4.9 million (m) cows being milked going into 2021, only down 0.44 percent from the final number of 4.92m head being milked at the start of 2020. Farmers were well prepared for the second half of the New Zealand production season (first half of calendar year 2021) as pasture supplies were high and there were normal to above-normal levels of conserved feed. In addition, the cows were generally in good condition. Even though it has been a non-traditional La Niña weather pattern over the summer,

with unexpected dry conditions on the east coast of both islands, there was enough rainfall in the main dairying regions of Waikato and Taranaki to ensure that production during the first half of the year should significantly surpass production during the same period last year.

An improvement in the milk price forecast of the major New Zealand processor, up over 25 percent since the beginning of the 2020/2021 production season, has also encouraged more confidence among farmers to purchase supplemental feed to support production.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governments response has not impacted on milk supply nor did it hinder milk processing, despite very strict rules the processors themselves have on visiting the manufacturing sites. The COVID-19 pandemic has, though, caused disruption to export supply chains into destination countries, especially for food service products and ingredients. However, the dominant destination — China — has recovered well and reportedly food service channels are just about back to normal. Shipping delays and logistical problems have come to dominate nearly all international trade over the last twelve months. Many dairy sector exporters anticipate shipping delays will be shortened or be eliminated by the fourth quarter of 2021.

The revised higher milk supply forecast for 2021 is likely to favor increased production of whole and skim milk powders along with more cheese. Whole milk powder (WMP) production is now forecast at 1.56 MMT and would be nearly one percent up on the estimated 2020 production of 1.55 MMT. WMP exports are forecast at 1.54 MMT, up 0.5 percent on 2020. Cheese production is expected to remain firm at 370,000 MT, nearly six percent greater than 2020. Cheese exports are forecast to total 337,000 MT, an estimated three-percent increase over 2020.

Skim milk powder (SMP) production is likely to bounce back in 2021 to 385,000 MT, a four-percent increase on 2020 following the near five-percent drop in 2020. An anticipated decrease in Infant Milk Formula production will help support this increased SMP production. Butter and anhydrous milk fat (AMF) production and exports are likely to only remain stable because of the rapid growth of UHT cream exports. These exports are forecast for 2021 at 150,000 MT, up 11 percent from the 135,000 MT exported in 2020, which was already seven percent up on the 2019 total.

Agro Perspectiva

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