USDA DAIRY REPORT WESTERN AND EASTERN EUROPESunday, Mar 30, 2003
OVERVIEW: WESTERN EUROPE: Milk production in Europe continues to expand seasonally, although producers in some countries are adjusting their late March shipments due to above quota volumes as the milk quota year end nears. With the milk quota year end just a few days way, March 31, handlers are indicating that receipts at this time of the year are often irregular as producers adjust their marketing. Once April 1 arrives, marketing and manufacturing schedules are expected to quickly expand as all milk production once again is marketed. Reports indicate that milk production during the current milk quota year seems to be in better balance with quotas. Some indicate that not as many producers will not need to adjust their output, while producers that usually over produce, are again in the same situation. International buyer interest for manufactured dairy products is quiet.
Most transactions are shipments of previously place orders with most business covering immediate or short term needs. No long term sales are being reported at this time. Much of the slow down in Europe sales is being attributed to political unrest in the Middle East. As milk production increases seasonally, so are manufacturing schedules of dairy products. Intervention for skim milk opened on March 1 and early offerings have been lighter than last year during the opening days. Early reports project that overall clearances will not be as heavy as last year and the 109,000 MT maximum volume level will not be breached.
EASTERN EUROPE: Milk production in Eastern Europe continues to increase seasonally, although at a slower pace than in Western Europe. Weather patterns in many areas are more late winter like versus early spring. Some recent international skim and whole milk powder sales were reported being sourced from this region. Outside of these sales, no significant new buyer interest is being reported. Eastern European sources were optimistic that these sales will continue as the 2003 milk production season develops.