Wet spring weather has put the squeeze on milk production and forced Fonterra to reduce its forecasted milk volumes for the 2016/17 season.
The dairy giant has downsized its predicted production from 1.523 million kilograms of milksolids to 1.46 million kilograms.
In Waikato, home of 34 per cent of the country’s dairy herds, milk volumes have fallen 14 per cent compared with last year, says Fonterra’s October Global Dairy Update report.
Milk volumes in central and upper North Island were also down in early October and back 2 per cent nationwide in September.
The report described spring milk falls as being “highly unusual” and Fonterra would assess its on‑going impact on its contract book and future production plans as production had peaked for the season.
Milk volumes had reached 297 million kilograms nationwide for the four months to September 30, 3 per cent back from the same period last season.
North Island milk collection in September reached 110 million kilograms in a 5 per cent fall compared with last year’s September.
In contrast, South Island milk volumes lifted 3 per cent at 64 million kilograms, however initial October collections indicate milk volumes have begun to decline and may fall below last season.
The fall has resulted in Fonterra’s forecasted volumes on the GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) auction over the next year decreasing by 11,199 tonnes. Fonterra has dropped its GDT offer by 55,481 tonnes since August.
Milk production also continued to soften in other major dairy exporting nations including a 9 per cent fall in Australia in September and a 1 per cent fall in the European Union in Augus
In the United States, milk production increased 2 per cent in September compared with the same month last year and milk production is up 1 per cent for the year to September compared with the same period the previous year.
Total New Zealand dairy exports in August fell 5 per cent, although exports for the year to August lifted 6 per cent compared with the previous year.
This increase was from lifts in fluid and fresh dairy, anhydrous milk fat and cheese volumes, offsetting a 3 per cent fall in whole milk powder.
By: Gerald Piddock