Milk production falls in Fonterra dairy update

North Island milk production fell 6 per cent in December according to Fonterra's latest Global Update.
Peter Meecham

North Island milk production fell 6 per cent in December according to Fonterra's latest Global Update.

The low milk price environment is being blamed for a 6 per cent fall in Fonterra's North Island milk collection during December compared with a year ago.

The dairy co-operative collected 118 million kilograms of milksolids last month in the North Island. Production also dropped 6 per cent from June 1 to December 31 compared with the same period last season, according to its latest Global Dairy Update.

The decline was less in the South Island with milk production down 1 per cent for the season from June 1 to December 31 compared with last season's results. However, the southern milk collection of 77 million kilograms of milksolids in December was 2 per cent higher than December last season.

Nationwide, Fonterra's milk collection in December was 3 per cent lower than the same month in 2015. For the seven months to December 31, it reached 932 million kilograms of milksolids, 4 per cent lower than the same period last season.

The report credited the falling volumes to a lower milk price as farmers had reduced their stocking rates and supplementary feeding in order to reduce costs.

Fonterra's Australian milk collection in December was 12 million kilograms of milksolids, 5 per cent lower than in 2015. Milk collection slowed because of low pasture availability in most dairy regions. Milk collection across Australia for the six months to December 31 reached 70 million kilograms, which was unchanged from the same period last season.

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