After rising 9% in April, UK milk output was again strong in May with deliveries to dairies reaching 1.35 billion litres, at 47 billion litres 3.7% ahead of last year.
This is the highest peak in monthly production seen for over a decade. Together with April, this now puts UK output an estimated 65 million litres ahead of quota for the year ending March 2003.
Output is now on a seasonal decline with the drop aggravated by high rainfall damaging hay and silage, and lack of sunshine hitting quality.
The milk processing industry's ability to handle record volumes of milk has been improved dramatically by the coming on stream of United Milk's Westbury plant.
Milk buyers are now having to look for supplies and this has pushed up prices from their depressed levels of as little as 10p per litre in April and May to 16-17p.