The increases in output per cow are not enough to compensate for the reduction in herd size. In addition, high feed and energy prices are forcing production adjustments.
In the EU, milk production has gradually declined in recent years. Likewise, herds have been reduced. U.S. analysts expect that there will also be a "wave of abandonment" among dairy farmers as a result of the requirements of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Increasing environmental constraints have led to stagnation in raw milk production in the EU's northern member states. As a result, EU milk production is expected to peak in 2020, according to the U.S. agency in Brussels. For 2022, U.S. analysts project Community raw milk production at 144.6 million tons, which would be 434,000 tons less than in 2021 and 836,000 tons less than in 2020.
The EU-27 dairy cow herd has declined by a total of about 1.4 million head since 2016 and by about 800,000 head since 2019, according to U.S. agency data. Increases in output per cow have not been enough to offset this herd reduction. U.S. analysts, like EU market experts, expect EU raw milk production to continue to decline in the coming year.
The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its accompanying farm-to-fork strategy would force dairy farmers to adjust their production systems, the U.S. agency report said. Experts expected a "new wave of dairy farmers" to quit. AgE