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Eight EU Member Countries Exceeded 2013/14 Milk Production Quotas, Must Pay Penalties

Despite Quota Overrun, Total EU Milk Deliveries Were 4.6% Below Total Quota Volumes; 14 EU Countries More Than 10% Under Their Quota

Brussels, Belgium—Eight European Union (EU) member countries exceeded their milk quotas for deliveries in the 2013/14 quota year and therefore must pay penalties (“superlevy”) totaling roughly 409 million euros (US$519.5 million), the European Commission announced last Friday.

The eight countries were Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Cyrprus and Luxembourg.

Despite the overrun of the quotas in these EU member countries, total EU deliveries remained 4.6 percent below the total quota volumes, compared to 6.0 percent below the total quota volumes in 2012/13.

Also, the Netherlands overshot its direct sales quota by 3,300 tons (4.2 percent) and faces an additional levy of 918,000 euros. No other EU country overshot its direct sales quota in the 2013/14 quota year.

According to national declarations for the quota year ending March 31, 2014, the eight member countries exceeded their national quotas for delivery by a total of 1,469,000 tons.

The number of EU countries exceeding their quotas remains limited, according to the European Commission, and the concerned surplus production accounts for 1.0 percent of all milk delivered or covered by direct sales (0.1 percent in the previous milk quota year).

Some 20 EU member countries remained under quota during the 2013/14 quota year, of which 14 were more than 10 percent below their delivery quota.

The EU’s dairy quota system was introduced in the 1980s to address problems of surplus. Each member has two quotas, one for deliveries to dairies (97.6 percent of total), and the other one for direct sales at the farm level (2.4 percent).

These quantities are distributed among producers (individual quotas) in each member state.

When an EU member country exceeds its national quota, a surplus levy (often called “superlevy”) of 27.83 euros per 100 kilograms is payable in the member country concerned, paid by the producers in proportion to their contribution to the overrun during the quota year (April 1-March 31).

These figures are established after a redistribution of non-used quota of other producers.

Quota overruns in the eight EU member countries that exceeded their milk quotas were as follows:
• Germany: 1.9 percent over.
• Netherlands: 4.0 percent
• Poland: 1.7 percent over.
• Denmark: 2.1 percent.
• Austria: 3.2 percent over.
• Ireland: 0.6 percent over.
• Cyprus: 3.6 percent over.
• Luxembourg: 1.0 percent.

By contrast, a total of 14 EU member countries were more than 10 percent under their quota. Those countries were:

Bulgaria was 53.9 percent under quota.; Czech Republic 11.0 percent under quota; Greece: 28.9 percent under; Croatia 28.3 percent under; Lithuania 21.9 percent under; Hungary 27.7 percent under; Malta 21.0 percent under; Portugal 14.6 percent under; Romania 44.5 percent under Slovenia 13.8 percent under; Slovakia 22.0 percent under; Finland 12.8 percent under quota; Sweden: 21.4 percent under quota; United Kingdom was 10.6 percent under quota.

Belgium produced slightly less than its quota in the 2013/14 quota year. Results for the remaining countries that produced less than their quotas in 2013/14 were:
Estonia: 0.6 percent under.
Spain: 2.2 percent under quota.
France: 6.9 percent under quota.
Italy: 1.1 percent under quota.
Latvia: 0.9 percent under quota.

In the 2012/13 quota year, just five EU member countries exceeded their milk quotas: Denmark (0.4 percent over), Germany (0.1 percent over), Cyprus (0.8 percent over), Austria (3.6 percent over) and Poland (0.1 percent over). Also in the 2012/13 quota year, a total of 13 EU member countries were more than 10 percent below their delivery quota.