Friday, July 1, 2022

Milk supply contracts in New Zealand

New Zealand milk production ended the 2013/13 dairying season 1.6% down on the previous season despite a record start to the season.  

The latest dairy season which concluded on 31 May 2013 could be be described as a season of two halves.  Milk production during the spring and early summer period was exceptional.  Year-on-year growth of 8.1% was recorded in the six months to November 2012.  But by December drought was beginning to encroach on the most northern regions of the country.

In late January the drought had progressed south and the Waikato, a key dairying region, was rapidly drying off.  A month later the drought was well and truely established.  The scale, intensity and severity of the drought took the dairy industry by surprise. The drought was reported to be the worst experienced in New Zealand in the past 50 years.  

Official milk production data released by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) shows production in the 12 months to 31 May 2013 was 1.6% less than the previous season, when measured on a milksolids basis.  Fonterra collected 2.0% less milk last season, indicating that Fonterra's milk supply slowed more than that of their competitors.  Westland managed to grow their supply by 5.3%.  This was partially due to Westland's growth in milk supply in the Canterbury region.  

Canterbury was one region which managed to grow its milk supply last season.  The milk supply in Canterbury has been growing more quickly than other regions as this is the region where much of the expansion of New Zealand's dairy industry is occuring. Summers are typically hot and dry in Canterbury therefore most farms in this region regularly use irrigation, unlike regions such as the Waikato and Taranaki where rainfall is typically much more plentiful.  The drought did not impact Canterbury to such a great degree as other regions of New Zealand.  The NZX Pasture Growth Index indicates that pasture growth in South Canterbury grew 30% more grass than the Waikato in the period from January – May 2013.  

Download milk production report from DCANZ

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