Oceania Dairy Market OverviewSunday, Mar 2, 2003
As the milk production season winds down in the Oceania region, the lack of moisture in Australia continues and now in New Zealand, a lack of moisture is also appearing to be developing which may negatively impact final production trends. Production trends in Australia continue to indicate that milk output is trailing last season by about 10% with output in New Zealand running 1-1.5% ahead of last year. In Australia, some recent rainfall has occurred in drought stricken areas, enough to green pastures, although still short of needed volumes to replenish depleted water levels.
In New Zealand, early on, milk handlers were optimistic with the start of the down side of the milk production season. Now with dryer conditions developing, many are hopeful that milk volumes, on an annual basis, will break even with last year. Some milk handlers and corresponding manufacturing facilities are beginning to adjust production schedules, reflecting the declining volume of milk. Although early, some milk producers are already reducing their daily milking schedules from twice to once a day.
For the most part, stocks of Oceania produced dairy products are reported to be in close balance with demand. With much of their seasons' output pre-sold, most Oceania producers and handlers are making ends meet with very little, if any, available for spot buyer needs. At this time, most international trading activity is centered on delivery of previous sales from Oceania and elsewhere in the world, with minimal new buyer interest being reported. Prices are holding basically steady with past weeks and are very competitive with other international prices.