Milk

Australian milk production increased by just under 40 million litres, or 0.4%, to 9.24 billion litres in 2013/14 - reflecting improved conditions on a difficult prior year for many dairy farmers. Although seasonal conditions remained drier and generally unfavourable in northern regions, broadly more favourable rainfall and temperatures prevailed across the south-eastern dairying regions which combined with higher farmgate milk prices to support significantly improved conditions for farm businesses. Dairy farmers were able to consolidate their financial positions after the difficult production conditions of 2012/13. 

Milk production is concentrated in the temperate zone of Australia. Australian milk production remains strongly seasonal in the key south-eastern dairying regions, reflecting the predominantly pasture-based nature of the industry. Milk production peaks in October, tapers off until late-summer, and then flattens out into the cooler winter months. The production of long shelf-life manufactured products in these parts of the country has enabled maximum milk utilisation within the seasonal cycle. However, the seasonality of milk output in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia is much less pronounced, due to a greater focus on drinking milk and fresh products in these states. Farmers in these states manage calving and feed systems to ensure more even year-round milk production.

Milk production (million litres) by state


NSW VIC QLD SA WA TAS AUST
1979/80 907 3,151 508 329 222 315 5,432
1989/90 879 3,787 629 356 267 344 6,262
1999/00 1,395 6,870 848 713 412 609 10,847








2005/06 1,197 6,651 597 646 377 622 10,089
2006/07 1,105 6,297 537 655 350 642 9,583
2007/08 1,049 6,102 486 606 319 662 9,223
2008/09 1,065 6,135 513 628 340 708 9,388
2009/10 1,074 5,790 529 605 350 673

9,023

2010/11       1,046 5,912 485   572 362  722  9,100 
2011/12 1,086 6,213 485  570  338  788  9,480 
2012/13 1,071 6,039 458 536  337  760  9,200 
2013/14 (p)
1,035 6,123
433
516
327
805
9,239

* From July 2005, data collection based on farm location
Source: Dairy Manufacturers