IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary today (Tuesday) said the 3.6% uplift in today’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction should be read in the context of a slow rebalancing of dairy markets.
“Fonterra have varied their product offering through the auction, providing customers with age-guaranteed powders, fresh on delivery, for a price premium. Also, the quantities going through the auction were low, at just over 28,000t. Both those factors undoubtedly helped improve the auction result,” Mr O’Leary said.
“However, there are more fundamental factors at play here: NZ output is falling back dramatically this season, with credible official forecasts 5-10% lower than last season. US production was almost static in October, with domestic demand growing faster than output. Europe’s big dairy countries Germany and France have also barely maintained their milk supplies this year,” he said.
“Apart from lower levels of fresh output, there is also evidence that stocks are being run down. A Fonterra analysis of the Chinese WMP market has concluded that their powder stocks have fallen to their lowest level since March, to roughly half of what they were then. The same analysis also forecasts a consumption growth of 4% per annum in China for the next 10 years, with domestic supplies failing to keep pace, underpinning continued significant levels of imports,” he said.
“It is important to remain realistic: even if prices remain unchanged, milk receipts to farmers will disimprove over the coming months because of lower volumes and constituents, and it will be some time before we see an upswing in farm gate prices. However, I believe we are seeing the first signs of a real rebalancing of markets,” he concluded.