Queensland now home to Australia's smallest dairy industry

Queensland now home to Australia's smallest dairy industry


Milk production has continued to fall in Australia.


Australian milk production continues to plummet, as drought in Queensland, NSW and northern Victoria takes a toll.

The latest figures from Dairy Australia reveal the changing face of milk production in Australia, with the Queensland industry shrinking to be the smallest in Australia.

The figures for March reveal Australia's milk production was down 10.6 per cent compared with March 2018.

Year-to-date production is down 6.7pc.

New Zealand production was also down for March.

Fonterra's Global Dairy Update report released on Friday revealed New Zealand milk production was down 8pc in March compared with the same period last year.

But year-to-date production there is up 3pc.

The Australian figures showed marked differences between states.

Queensland production was down 14.7pc in March and 10.5pc year-to-date.

Its year-to-date production of 278 million litres now makes it the smallest dairy industry in Australia.

Western Australian year-to-date production stands at 287 million litres, down 2.6pc on last year, but putting it ahead of Queensland.

Ten years ago Queensland produced 513 million litres, while WA produced 340 million litres.

Victorian production for March was down 12.9pc, with year-to-date production down 8.2pc.

But the overall state figures mask the bleak picture in northern Victoria.

Production there for March was down 27.5pc and 17.9pc year to date.

Northern Victoria now accounts for just over a quarter of Victorian milk production, down from almost a third a year ago.

NSW production fell 12.6pc in March and 10pc year-to-date.

But the breakdown of its figures also reveals a shift in milk production.

The southern region is down 13.7pc year to date, the North Coast region is down 9.8pc year to date, while the Inland/Central region is down just 2pc year to date.

The national figures reveal a couple of bright spots.

Tasmanian year-to-date production is up 2.9pc while South Australian year-to-date production is up 0.8pc, although both recorded falls for March.

The Fonterra Global Dairy Update revealed that milk production in Europe and the United States is steady.

The milk production picture bodes well for international prices, which have shown a steady increase this year.

The Fonterra report also revealed the company was under pressure in Australia with its milk collection down by more than the overall production decline.

Fonterra's collection was down 27pc for March and 18pc year to date.

"Fonterra's share of monthly collections continues to reduce due to adverse on-farm and weather conditions, increased cow cull rates, farm exits in key regions, cost of inputs and milk collection losses in a highly competitive market," the report said.

The story Queensland now home to Australia's smallest dairy industry first appeared on Farm Online.


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