Fat and protein

Cows’ milk consists of solids (milkfat, protein, lactose and minerals) in water, with water making up about 87% of the volume. The milkfat and protein components are those on which companies base their farmgate milk prices, with protein usually the more valuable component.

Milk composition varies between regions due to a number of factors, such as cow breed and age, nutrition and feed quality.

Average protein/fat composition by state (%)

  NSW VIC QLD SA WA TAS AUST
Milkfat              
2004/05 3.89 4.12 3.99 3.94 3.87 4.28 4.07
2005/06 3.91 4.08 4.00 3.88 3.91 4.29 4.05
2006/07 3.88 4.09 3.98 3.90 3.92 4.25 4.05
2007/08 3.97 4.14 4.01 3.95 3.95 4.20 4.10
2008/09 3.93 4.22 3.97 3.93 3.99 4.25 4.15
2009/10 3.97 4.20 4.05 4.05 3.91 4.34 4.15
2010/11 3.92 4.15  4.00  3.82  3.96  4.28  4.10 
2011/12  3.90  4.08  4.00  3.85  3.86  4.25  4.05 
2012/13 3.92  4.12  4.02  3.81  3.87  4.32  4.08 
2013/14
3.91
4.10
3.98
3.80
3.88
4.30
4.07
2014/15 
3.93 4.15
4.01
3.77
3.89
4.35
4.11
2015/16 (p)
3.92
4.12
4.00
3.77
3.92
4.30
4.08
Protein               
2004/05 3.23 3.32 3.23 3.24 3.11 3.35 3.29
2005/06 3.25 3.33 3.33 3.25 3.15 3.37 3.31
2006/07 3.24 3.33 3.22 3.25 3.19 3.37 3.30
2007/08 3.25 3.34 3.25 3.25 3.19 3.39 3.32
2008/09 3.26 3.38 3.28 3.28 3.24 3.39 3.35
2009/10 3.27 3.35 3.33 3.27 3.20 3.41 3.34
2010/11 3.26 3.38  3.31  3.28  3.23  3.44  3.35 
2011/12 3.28  3.36  3.31  3.27  3.16  3.44  3.34 
2012/13
3.27  3.36  3.29  3.26  3.20  3.47  3.35 
2013/14
3.28
3.39
3.29
3.27
3.18
3.47
3.37
2014/15
3.29
3.40
3.32
3.29
3.22
3.49
3.38
2015/16 (p)
3.29
3.40
3.32
3.28
3.23
3.48
3.38
 Source: Dairy manufacturers