Monthly Archives: October 2015


Palm kernel imports rise

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Source: NZME

Imports of palm kernel (PKE) – which Fonterra is keen for farmers to cut back on – rose slightly in September compared with the same month in 2014.

PKE imports came to 213,488 tonnes in September, up 0.8 per cent from 211,709 tonnes in September 2014, according to data from Statistics New Zealand.

Fonterra said last month that it wanted to “future proof” the co-operative’s position as a world-leading and trusted producer of pasture-based milk products. The co-op put forward a recommended maximum of 3kg/per day/per cow was a guideline.

Palm kernel has become a useful standby for farmers, particularly during abnormal weather, when consumption can go up to 10kg a day.

The product came into its own in 2007 when a drought sent North Island farmers looking for new feed sources, marking a step change for palm kernel as a viable feed supplement.

Imports of palm kernel – a byproduct of the palm oil process – have gone from 96,000 tonnes in 2003 to 2 million tonnes last year.


Pressure on declining milk production

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Source: NZME

The decline in New Zealand milk production gathered momentum in the month of September, according the Dairy Companies of New Zealand (DCANZ) data.

Milk production, in milksolids, came to 209,484 tonnes in September, down 7.2 per cent compared with 225,777 tonnes in September 2014.

A late autumn flush led to higher production in the earlier months but the trend turned in August, when production fell slightly compared with August in the previous year.

Fonterra, in a market update released earlier this month, said New Zealand production decreased by 1 per cent in August compared to the same month last year.

The co-op said that although milk production in the year to August was up 1 per cent, unfavourable spring pasture growth conditions and low milk prices continued to put downward pressure on milk production.

The GlobalDairyTrade’s four-auction winning streak came to an abrupt end last week when prices fell by 3.1 per cent, led by declines in whole milk powder, skim milk powder and butter.

Fonterra has a $4.60 per kg of milksolids farmgate milk price forecast on its books – well short of the $5.30 per kg required to reach the estimated average breakeven point.

Fonterra has forecast its milk production to fall by 5 per cent this season and some forecasters expect New Zealand’s total production to fall by as much as 10 per cent.

October is typically the peak of the season for local milk production.