Fonterra says milk collection down 3% in NZ, 1% in Aus

Milk collection across New Zealand fell 3% to 1.39 billion kilograms of milk solids in the 10 months ended March 31.

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in both New Zealand and Australia in the first 10 months of the season.

Milk collection across New Zealand fell 3% to 1.39 billion kilograms of milk solids in the 10 months ended March 31, mostly in the North Island with no change in the south. Fonterra says the decline reflects destocking in its home market in the face of low milk prices and unfavourable weather across the Tasman.

The reduction was "largely a result of the low milk price environment in which farmers continue to reduce stocking rates and supplementary feeding to reduce costs," Fonterra says in its Global Dairy Update.

In Australia's July 1-to-March 31 season-to-date, the milk collection was down 1% to 99 million kg/MS "as a result of unfavourable pasture growth due to dry conditions across most dairying regions, especially Victoria."

The dairy giant says looking across its markets globally, the milk production growth rate stabilised in the EU and eased in other major exporting countries. Dairy exports remain strong for New Zealand, Australia, and Europe while the US was down, largely because of increased domestic demand.

China, Asia and Latin America "continue to see strong growth in dairy imports, while the Middle East and Africa imports ease," it says.

Units of the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund rose 0.2% to $5.86 but have declined 2.3% overall this year.

(BusinessDesk)