However, annual comparisons need to be viewed in light of curtailed production in 2020 when markets were reeling from the initiation of lockdowns.
Production in the first quarter of 2021 was roughly on par with year earlier levels, after adjusting for the leap year in 2020. Low production levels in the first part of the year, particularly in France and Germany, brought an end to the growth seen across the continent through the second half of 2020.
Production levels then recovered through the spring, although much of the year-on-year growth is due to low deliveries through the spring of 2020. In light of the closure of markets at that time, many of the key producing regions (France, Germany, Italy, Spain) saw milk deliveries curtailed.
Year to date (Jan-Jun), overall deliveries in the EU-27 are up by 0.6%. The European Commission expect EU-27 production to remain in growth for the remainder of the year, finishing the year up by 0.8%. This would suggest growth of just over 1% in the second half of the year, and is based on the view that raw milk prices will remain sufficiently high to help offset rising feed costs.