USDA DAIRY MARKET OVERVIEW Saturday, Oct 25, 2003
OCEANIA OVERVIEW: The milk production season in Oceania continues to develop toward the seasonal peak. In New Zealand, milk volumes will be nearing peak levels within the next few weeks in Northern areas of the country and will expand throughout the North and South Island during the next four to six seeks. New Zealand milk handlers remain optimistic and continue to project a 1 - 2% increase in overall milk production this season versus last year. The first half of the production season has been quite positive with milk volumes running about 4 - 5% ahead of last year. Much of this growth is occurring on the South Island.
In Australia, the production season is not quite as positive as in New Zealand. Early on in the season, milk volumes were lagging last year by 6 - 7%, but milk handlers and processors are hopeful that milk volumes will recover as the season develops toward the peak. At this point, Australian milk handlers continue to project seasonal production to be in line with last year and are hoping for slight increases.
Prices for Oceania produced dairy products have firmed slightly, but are, for the most part holding steady. Stocks are reported to be in close balance, and in instances tight, with no additional volumes available for spot or new buyer interest. Many Oceania producers and handlers are cautious to not over commit themselves, thus are basically working with regular and ongoing customers at this time.