According to data provided by Statistics Estonia, 859,600 tonnes of milk were purchased from Estonian agricultural producers in 2023, for which farmers were paid almost €375 million. The average purchase price for the year was €436.73 per tonne, 5.8 percent lower than a year earlier.
Milk production accounts for around a quarter of the value of Estonia's agricultural output and therefore has a significant impact on the economic situation of Estonian agricultural producers.
Anton Kardakov, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that in December 2022, the purchase price of milk was higher than ever – €544.15 per tonne.
"At the beginning of 2023, the purchase price started to drop, reaching its lowest level of the year in August at €397.31 per tonne. In the second half of the year, the price rose again and in December milk producers were paid €426.87 per tonne," Kardakov added.
For a number of years, the purchase price of milk in Estonia has aligned with trends in other European Union (EU) countries and has depended largely on the situation on the external market as well as international demand. This is because a considerable share of Estonian milk and dairy products are exported.
The milk purchase price in Estonia is consistently lower than the EU average and was 7 percent below in December 2023. The average purchase price of milk in EU countries in December last year is estimated to be €461.4 per tonne. The average purchase price of milk in Estonia is higher than in both Latvia and Lithuania, though significantly lower than in Finland.
The quantity of milk purchased from agricultural producers increased by 7.5 percent on year, the highest amount in recent decades. Preliminary data for 2023 shows that 231,000 tonnes of various dairy products were produced in Estonia, including 104,000 tonnes of drinking milk, 50,500 tonnes of cheese and curd, 36,000 tonnes of fermented milk products and 4,700 tonnes of butter products.
Editor: Michael Cole