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

 

Scoop Business: Wheeler Downplays Scope For ‘Large’ Rates Fall

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler says some market commentators are predicting further declines in interest rates that would only make sense for an economy in recession, although some easing is likely to be needed to maintain New Zealand’s economic growth. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha Dam: Consent Conditions Could Mean Reduced Intensity

Legal advice sought by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the Ruataniwha Dam consent conditions has confirmed that farmers who sign up to take water from the dam could be required to reduce the intensity of their farming operation to meet the catchment’s strict nitrogen limit. More>>

Health And Safety: Bill Now Sees Rules Relaxed For Small Businesses

Health and safety law reform sparked by the Pike River coalmine disaster has been reported back from the industrial relations select committee with weakened requirements on small businesses to appoint health and safety representatives and committees. More>>

ALSO:

Bearing Fruit: Annual Fruit Exports Hit $2 Billion For First Time

The value of fruit exported rose 20 percent (up $330 million) for the June 2015 year when compared with the year ended June 2014. Both higher prices and a greater quantity of exports (up 9.0 percent) contributed to the overall rise. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: NZ Dollar Jumps After RBNZ Trims OCR

The New Zealand dollar jumped more than half a US cent after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler cut the official cash rate by a quarter-point and said the currency needs to be lower, while dropping a reference to criteria that justified intervention. More>>

ALSO:

Drones: New 'World-Class' Framework For UAVs

The rules, which come into effect on 1 August, recognise the changing environment and create a world-class framework that accommodates ongoing development while still ensuring the safety of the public, property and other airspace users. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news