Dairy farmers' budget boost

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 17 Juli 2013 | 19.55

THE softening Australian dollar and increasing international commodity prices are helping Tasmanian dairy farmers.

Fonterra Australia has announced a step-up for in the price it pays farmers for this season, which started on July 1.

The increase comes on top of farmer-owned dairy company Murray Goulburn Co-operative's latest step-up, which brought its final weighted-average price for last season to $4.97/kg milk solids.

DairyTas executive officer Mark Smith said overall it is a positive thing.

"Coming from three to four months ago it exceeds expectations going into the season," Mr Smith said.

"It will help farmers consolidate after a difficult season."

However, individual farmer milk prices vary around the average price, depending on the individual farm's milk profile, pricing options, regional production factors, milk quality, and farm management systems.

"It depends on their seasonality of supply, but farmers still have to budget for the season."

Fonterra Australia's managing director Judith Swales said the step-up was made possible with the dollar continuing to soften and global dairy commodity prices having stabilised.

"Our outlook for the season is strong and we hope this step-up allows suppliers to plan for, and invest in, their farm business with the same level of confidence," Ms Swales said.

Fonterra Australia's forecast, average full-year milk price for this season remains about $6/kg of milk solids.

Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou said its price step-up injects a further $15 million into dairy farm cash flows.

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