USDA Oceania Dairy Market OverviewSunday, Aug 31, 2003
OCEANIA OVERVIEW: The new milk production season continues to develop in Oceania. Production estimates for the new season remain unchanged from previous reports with New Zealand projecting a 1 - 2% increase over last season, while Australian estimates are steady to slightly higher than last year. Weather conditions are quiet favorable for early spring.
Moisture is falling in many of the major dairy areas of New Zealand and Australia. Although rainfall is occurring, most milk producers and handlers indicate that additional volumes are needed to replenish depleted reserves. Grass is greening in New Zealand which is about 2 - 3 weeks ahead of Australia. Orders continue to be filled from inventoried stocks. Most traders and shippers feel that they will have adequate volumes of product to fill existing orders with minimal volumes, if any at all, available for spot buyer needs. At this point, international buyer interest is light and unaggressive.
Most trading activity continues to center around shipments to regular and ongoing customers. Oceania handlers and traders are negotiating with these customers for upcoming needs. In many instances, much of these negotiations have been finalized for, at least, first half needs. At this point, traders and handlers report that they are not seeing much unexpected buyer interest or demand. Some traders are reporting that Russian buyer interest is somewhat more active than last year. Also, Middle East buyer demand is improving as buyers secure products prior to Ramadan.