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Milk prices down 26% last year, cattle prices up 3%

The price and volume of milk produced in Ireland last year fell significantly, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Milk prices were down 26% in 2023 compared with 2022 and the volume of milk produced fell by 4%. This resulted in a 30% drop overall in the value of milk output.

In volume terms, cereal output in Ireland fell drastically by 26%, the CSO said.

This was due to extremely bad weather during last year’s harvest, which led to some crops spoiling in fields, and also due to pressure on land availability for arable farming.

The total area planted fell by 6%, in a year which saw intense competition from dairy farmers to rent land which had previously been planted.

The combination of price falls and contraction of the planted area resulted in overall output dropping 48% to €362 billion.

Meanwhile the value of all livestock was up by 1% to €4.6 billion last year.

Within that sector, cattle prices rose 3% but volumes fell 4% with overall output value down 1% to €3 billion.

Sheep output value was stable, while pig prices rose by 19% but volume was down resulting in the sector’s overall value rising just 7% to €667m.

Poultry prices also rose 5% last year as did volume output meaning the overall value of the sector was up 8% to €220m.

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