Aussie dairy giant Murray Goulburn placed in trading halt

The halt is expected to remain until Wednesday next week.

Shares in Australia’s largest dairy food processor, Murray Goulburn, have been placed on hold as it revises its earnings outlook.

That follows doubt over its ability to sell some products in China.

The halt is expected to remain until Wednesday next week.

The cooperative announced to the ASX the MG unit trust’s shares were put on hold at the request of the company.

Units in Murray Goulburn’s non-voting listed trust closed half a percent lower on Thursday at $2.14 while the broader market gained 1%.

It says it is reviewing the conditions on its 2016 outlook.

The cooperative confirmed at its half-year financial results in February it would miss its profit forecast outlined in prospectus last July.

At the time, Murray Goulburn said it expected to generate a full-year net profit of roughly $A63 million, compared with the $A89 million in its prospectus forecast.

Despite missing its target, the cooperative maintained its farmgate milk price of $5.60, compared with Fonterra’s $3.90.

Earlier this month, Fonterra announced its profit was up 123% to $409 million.  

Murray Goulburn’s announcement comes a week after a selloff of Aussie dairy companies was sparked by new Chinese regulations.

Under the new law, Chinese officials issued a “positives list” of products allowed into the country. Liquid milk and adult milk powder were not included. Infant formula, however, did receive the seal of approval.

Murray Goulburn confirmed its Devondale consumer milk powder and long-life milk has been temporarily removed from some Chinese websites.

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