Eurostat Highlights Inefficiencies in Bulgarian, Romanian Dairy Farms
Eurostat has published a report indicating inefficiencies in dairy farms in Bulgaria and Romania.
The report on the EU milk production sector, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), shows that the lowest concentration of dairy cows per agricultural holding is recorded in Romania (three per dairy holding), while in Bulgaria the average number of dairy cows per dairy farm stands at 5.
The highest concentration of dairy cows per holding is registered in countries with optimized milk production - Denmark with 141 dairy cows per holding, followed by the UK with 122 and Cyprus with 111.
Despite the relatively steep 16% decline in the number of dairy cows in the EU between 2001 and 2011, the production of milk increased to 151 million tonnes in 2011, two million tonnes more than in 2010.
The average cows' milk yield increased by 20 % within ten years across the EU-27.
It was about 6 692 kg per dairy cow in 2011 (5 585 kg in 2001); the range extended from more than 8 000 kg per cow in Denmark, Spain, Finland and Sweden to less than 4 000 kg per cow in Romania and Bulgaria, where the yield was affected by a combination of slower development and smaller herd size.
In 2011, the EU's main cows' milk producers were Germany and France; together with four other countries (the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland) they accounted for about 70 % of total EU-27 production.
In 2011, the EU-27 had 86.2 million bovine animals. Within this category there were 35 million cows — nearly two thirds of them (22.8 million) dairy cows (representing 27 % of the total bovine population of the EU-27).
The bovine population has been declining in the EU-27 and totalled slightly over 86 million head in 2011, down 3 % compared to 2006, and by 8 % over the past decade.
There was a decrease in a great majority of EU countries, with the most remarkable drop over the past decade occurring in Romania (32 %) and Slovakia (25 %).
In Bulgaria, the bovine population decreased from around 640 000 in 2001 to around 560 000 in 2011.
Germany had the highest number of dairy cows, accounting for 18.3 % of the total EU-27 dairy cow population in 2011.
The smallest milk producer was Malta with just slightly over 6 000 dairy cows in 2011.
According to the latest statistics, EU dairy farms delivered 21.9 million liters of cows' milk to the dairy-processing enterprises in the first two months of 2013.
In April 2013, EU wholesale prices of dairy products registered a slight increase as a result of the deficit in milk supply on the internal EU market and the sharp increase in demand for milk on the export markets.
According to the latest data of the European Commission, a liter of milk in February 2013 fetched up to 34.1 euro cents.
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