FOR MANY dairy farm businesses, the 2018–19 season has shifted from an outlook of recovery and growth to one of drought, feed shortage and rising production costs, likely to result in a milk production fall of five to seven per cent compared to 2017–18.
Dairy Australia’s October Situation and Outlook report revealed that while the feed shortage would have implications on milk flows, the Australian market for dairy products had remained stable, with all key product categories showing growth, pointing to ongoing and strengthened support for dairy among the Australian public.
Dairy Australia senior industry analyst John Droppert said while farmers’ key priority was to navigate their way through the immediate challenges, on-farm decisions made in the coming months would be fundamental to the industry’s ability to seize the opportunities when seasonal conditions improve.
“Domestic sales growth is robust, delivering increases in both volume and value across most key dairy categories,” Mr Droppert said.
“Australian milk, cheese and yoghurt sales continue to grow, with Australians purchasing 1.4 billion litres of milk in supermarkets, up 0.9 per cent on last year.”
Total supermarket sales volume of cheese grew 1.9 per cent to 150 000 tonnes, while the value of cheese sales also increased 3.9 per cent.
“Flavoured milk and cheese categories showed a growth in volume of 4.7 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively, whilst the traditional yoghurt category, including products such as Greek yoghurt, saw an impressive 6.2 per cent growth,” Mr Droppert said.
“As an industry, the support for dairy products and rural communities has been felt throughout this challenging season, with the entire supply chain, government and the Australian public showing their support for farmers facing drought and the subsequent impacts of high costs of hay, grain and water.”
The Situation and Outlook report is released three times a year, providing expert analysis and insights into the latest national and international market trends in the dairy industry, as well as up-to-date statistics and facts.
The report is available at: www.dairyaustralia.com.au