Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Fonterra's farmgate milk price out of step with efficiency

Fonterra's farmgate milk price out of step with efficiency

By Pattrick Smellie

Aug. 15 (BusinessDesk) - The Commerce Commission says Fonterra Cooperative Group's decision to cut the last season's forecast payout to farmer shareholders by 55 cents per kilogram of milksolids below the result produced by its Farm Gate Milk Price calculation is not consistent with the milk price regime's intention to make Fonterra operate efficiently.

However, it says the decision - the first ever taken to vary the payout from the calculated level since the Farm Gate Milk Price regime came into force in 2009 - was consistent with ensuring competitive provision of milk to alternative suppliers, the commission concluded in its annual review of the regime.

Under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act, which allowed a merger to create Fonterra despite creating a dominant local market player, the commission must monitor how Fonterra sets the price it pays farmers for milk as part of efforts to ensure it's possible for local dairy market competitors, such as Synlait or Westland Milk, to emerge.

Under the monitoring and reporting regime, the commission has no ability to force any change on Fonterra.

The cooperative announced earlier this year it would reduce the FGMP from a calculated record of $8.95 per kg/MS to $8.40 per kg/MS as it struggled with the impact of very high input prices and unprecedented volumes of milk production on earnings in non-commodity products like cheese. The problem is unlikely to re-emerge this year as global dairy commodity prices are close to half their levels at the beginning of the year and Fonterra's forecast payout for the 2014/15 season has been slashed to $6 per kg/MS.

"Our overall finding is that the way Fonterra is calculating and applying its adjustment to the base milk rice is not consistent with incentives for the company to operate efficiently," the commission's deputy chair, Sue Begg, said in a statement. "Fonterra is setting a lower price to cancel out the adverse effect of a number of unanticipated effects that would otherwise have had a negative impact on its profits."

Conversely, the commission found that if Fonterra hadn't cut the FGMP as it did, that would have been at odds with the sector competition requirements of the regime.

Fonterra will set a final price for the 2013/14 season next month.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news