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New Zealand Dairy Farmers Facing Milk Price Cuts

02 February 2016

NEW ZEALAND - Two of New Zealand’s largest dairy co-operatives have reduced their forecast farmgate milk prices for 2015/16 because they expect global dairy commodity prices to remain under pressure.

Fonterra reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2015/16 season from $4.60 per kgMS to $4.15 per kgMS (kilo of milk solids).

New Zealand's Federated Farmers organisation predicted the move from Fonterra after a poor price performance from milk powder, butter and cheese in the last Global Dairy Trade auction.

Fonterra's Chairman John Wilson said global economic conditions continue to be challenging and are impacting demand for a range of commodities, including dairy.

“Key factors driving dairy demand are declining international oil prices which have weakened the spending power of countries reliant on oil revenues, economic uncertainty in developing economies and a slow recovery of dairy imports into China. In addition, the Russian ban on European Union dairy imports continues to push more product on to the world market.

“There is still an imbalance between supply and demand which continues to put pressure on global milk prices. Since last September, prices on GlobalDairyTrade for Whole Milk Powder (WMP) have fallen 12 per cent, and Skim Milk Powder (SMP) prices are down 8 per cent.

“Although New Zealand farmers have responded to lower global prices by reducing supply, that has yet to happen in other regions, including Europe, where milk volumes have continued to increase."

Chief Executive Theo Spierings said while global demand remained sluggish, Fonterra supported the general view that dairy prices will improve later this calendar year.

“However the time frame for supply and demand rebalancing has moved further out and largely depends on a downward correction in EU supply in response to the lower global prices. These prices are clearly unsustainably low for farmers globally and cannot continue in the longer term.

“It is important to state that despite the current challenges, we have confidence long-term international dairy demand will continue its expansion due to a growing world population, increasing middle classes in Asia, urbanisation and favourable demographics."

Meanwhile, the forecast pay-out from another dairy co-operative, Westland, has reduced to NZ$4.15-4.45 per kgMS.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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