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The USDA Oceania Dairy Market Overview

OCEANIA OVERVIEW: The new milk production season is just getting underway in Oceania. New Zealand is usually the first country of the region to report production increases and this year is no different. Although milk volumes are building slowly, milk handlers indicate that the new season has begun. Most report that the major calving season is still 2 - 3 weeks away. In Australia, conditions are running about 2 - 3 weeks behind New Zealand, although milk handlers and plant managers are preparing for the increased volumes in the very near future. Weather conditions in Oceania have been fairly cool with rainfall amounts short of desired needs for early spring. Pastures are greening.

Inventories of manufactured dairy products are reported to be sufficient to meet contractual commitments. Most handlers and shippers are stating that they will have adequate stocks, but in some instances, stocks will be totally depleted prior to the start of the new production season. On the other hand, some traders indicate that they will have some product available for spot buyer interest. As the new milk production season resumes, manufacturers and traders are actively working with potential customers. In most instances, negotiations are occurring with regular customers while there is minimal new buyer interest being reported. Production estimates for the new season are basically unchanged from recent reports. New Zealand is projecting a 1 - 2% increase over last season with Australian output projected to be flat to 1% higher than last season.

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