July 12, 2023


Global milk production set to rise, while EU milk output expected to decline, says report



According to the Agricultural Outlook 2023-32 report published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), global milk production is projected to increase by 17% over the next decade, but the European Union (EU) is expected to experience a decline in milk production, Agriland reported.


The report highlights that the dairy sector will remain the fastest-growing livestock sector, with global milk production anticipated to rise by 17%.


The EU, which is the second-largest global milk producer after India, is expected to see a slight decline in production due to the ongoing transition toward environmentally sustainable practices, the expansion of organic production, and the shift from intensive to pasture-based systems.


While cattle inventories are increasing in eastern Europe and central Asia, a contraction of 9% is projected in western Europe, primarily from intensive production systems. This reduction is driven by the EU's commitment to sustainability, which is expected to reduce its share in global milk production to less than 15% by 2032, down from 17% in the 2020-22 base period.


The report also highlights that almost half of the dairy products in the Europe and central Asia region are currently produced in western Europe, but this share is expected to decline to 44% by 2032.


Despite the projected decline, the EU still accounts for 28% of global dairy exports, and a growth rate of 1.6% per year is sufficient to maintain this upward trend by 2032.


In terms of emissions, the report forecasts a 7.5% increase in worldwide agricultural emissions over the next decade, which is slightly less than half the projected output growth. This indicates a significant decrease in the carbon intensity of agricultural production.


The livestock sector is projected to contribute to 86% of the increased emissions. Most of the emission increase is expected to occur in middle and low-income regions, primarily due to the growth in ruminant production in emission-intensive systems.


But in Europe, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are expected to be lower than in the previous decade and lower than the projected growth in agricultural output.


Direct agricultural emissions are projected to remain almost unchanged in Europe and central Asia, with a modest rise of 0.6% by 2032. This is primarily due to a forecasted decline of 5% in western Europe and 4% in the EU, driven by reductions in the livestock sectors. Nevertheless, emissions are expected to increase in eastern Europe and central Asia as livestock herds continue to expand in those regions.


-      Agriland

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