Fat and protein levels were up on both last year and the 3-year average in April and May 2021, and also higher than our projections for the season. Coupled with higher milk production than last spring, milk solids production* totalled 212k tonnes for the first two months of the season. This is up 3.0% on the same time last year, although last year production was being curbed due to the pandemic. These extra milk solids will increase product availability.
Our estimates suggest that the UK produced 644k tonnes of butterfat in 2020/21, up 1.3% on 2019/20. In contrast, protein production was down 0.4% on the year, at 518k tonnes for the 2020/21 season. However, protein levels in 2019/20 were considered unusually high, so this is comparing against a strong season.
Overall this meant milk solids production rose 0.5% on the year, slightly ahead of the 0.3% growth in UK milk production. This would have given processors slightly improved yields for their milk volume compared with the year before.
*In this article ‘milk solids’ refers to fat + protein only.