Fonterra

Fonterra parties on while Farmers seek mental health counselling

Photo/ Supplied - via tipline

Photo/ Supplied – via tipline

Whilst farmers are taking huge hits as dairy prices continue to track low – Fonterra still has the money to throw small party gatherings at Auckland CBD restaurants.

Last night a group of Fonterra executives partied at Vivace in High Street.

Whilst it was apparently for a couple of staff who were leaving – now is not the time to be seen in public spending up on the company credit card.   Read more »

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To rub salt into Labour wounds over the “dairy crisis”…

 

To rub salt into Labour wounds over the “dairy crisis” that has suddenly reversed, Mike Hosking tells them that there isn’t a crisis.

He is National’s stooge of course…and should be drummed out of all his media jobs.

At the risk of getting another serve from Andrew Little or Winston Peters, I fear I may have some bad news for them.

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Right on cue, dairy prices reverse after Labour declares a crisis

Every time Labour declares a crisis in one industry or another the crisis miraculously turns around.

Literally hours after holding a press conference about a crisis in manufacturing there was an independent report that showed manufacturing was booming and has continued to boom. They declared a crisis with Kiwis flocking across the Tasman…lo and behold that crisis too has been reversed.

Last week Labour declared a crisis in the dairy industry based on milk solid prices…and today…

Wholemilk powder prices – which play a big part in the formation of Fonterra’s farmgate milk price – rallied by 19.1 per cent to US$1,856 a tonne at this morning’s GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) auction, raising hopes that prices may finally have turned after declining sharply since March.   Read more »

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No taxpayer money for failing dairy farms, says Bill

As you know, I’m against the government propping up private businesses, but I can’t understand the lack of consistency here.

Bill English comes good but I bet that will give Steve Joyce the shits.

Finance Minister Bill English said today the Government would not be offering special financial support to dairy farmers in trouble because of low prices.

But Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy will head to Auckland on Thursday to talk to the dairy giant Fonterra and to major banks about their response to the downturn.

Fonterra last week revised its payout forecast from $5.25 to $3.85 per kilo of milk solids after a slump in prices Fonterra has got in the Gobal Dairy Trade auction.

It also offered interest-free loans to farmers which wont have to be repaid until the milk price goes above $6.

Mr English told Parliament his afternoon that the drop in prices would have a negative effect on the economy “but a containable effect”.   Read more »

Looks like dairy is on the mend, Labour has declared a crisis

You know things are on the mend when Labour declares that something is in crisis.

The last major industry Labour told us was in crisis was Manufacturing, and literally within hours of their declaration there was an announcement that manufacturing jobs and sales had dramatically increased.

Now it is dairy’s turn for a crisis…and Labour has helpfully assisted by declaring it as such.

Andrew Little says another bad season for dairy farmers could cause New Zealanders to lose some of the country’s best agricultural land to offshore buyers.

The Labour leader said Fonterra had offered interest-free loans to some struggling farmers.

On the Q&A programme, he said banks had told him they’d help farmers for one tough season, but beyond that there were uncertainties.   Read more »

Sure John, nobody’s panicking. But the dairy slump’s hit main street

Farmers are keeping their wallets shut as they face at least a year or two of tough conditions.

They’re fighting to stay on their farms, but in the towns, the lack of money is going to kick start unemployment.

Retailers in Taranaki say the downturn in the dairy market is starting to hit turnover, with sales declining by between 10 and 20 percent.

Fonterra has slashed its forecast payout for the season to $3.85 a kilo of milk solids – far below the break-even point for many farmers, whose spending on non-essential items has all but evaporated.

Michael Eager, who owns the R J Eager furniture stores in New Plymouth and Stratford, said it was taking longer to shift stock.

“We are already seeing a slowdown in retail sales. Enquiries have dropped away so it is impacting at the present time quite strongly and particularly in the small towns.

“We have a business in Stratford, and we’re seeing that impact take place now.”   Read more »

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Kiwis to pay more for medicine to line Fonterra shareholder pockets?

The TPP is starting to take its toll on John Key.

When the Trade Minister has to dictate to his favourite newspaper columnist then you know they are in trouble.

But now it is starting to look like we are going to have to pay more for our medicines so Fonterra shareholders can put more cash into their pockets.

John Key is gathering international support for a dairy deal as Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks edge towards agreement.

Dairy products represent 20 percent of New Zealand’s exports and open access to the 11 other TPP countries would be a huge gain.

The Prime Minister says he’s making calls around the world.

“We’re getting more support from some of the other countries,” he told reporters today.

“I’m in the process of making phone calls to leaders and others to encourage them to see it our way – we’re presenting the strongest case we possibly can.”

Access for agricultural products is one of the most contentious issues at the TPP negotiations.   Read more »

Parroting the obvious

In August 2014 real reporters around the world ran stories about China’s milk stockpile, and everyone in China who was anybody, knew China was stockpiling those resources.

The news that Russia is banning imports of dairy products from all EU states should be the least of our concerns.

What dairy farmers here should be doing, rather, is looking even further to the east, to China.

For there are some ominous signs that that country’s snapping up of massive volumes of dried milk powder produced in the west may well have been a stockpiling exercise and that it is now coming to an end ahead of an anticipated downturn in the Chinese economy.

That could have quite severe repercussions here where a lot of the ‘surplus’ milk, which has been sloshing about in the market, has gone to drying plants in an exercise which acts as a useful price stabiliser. The effects are already being felt in the arena of global dairy auctions, where prices dropped 8.4 per cent this week and are now 50 per cent lower than they were in February – and it’s worth noting that whole milk powder (down 11.5 per cent) and skim milk powder (down 6.5 per cent) were among the big losers.

So stand by for even more price cuts at the farm gate…

Yet, despite how many junkets to China and resources put in by NZ Inc and a newspaper, it’s only when Bill English makes comment on it off his own bat, does Frances O’Sullivan – a newspaper’s pre-eminent repeater – actually even record it as happening.

It was Bill English who finally punctured the myth that the lengthy price slump that has carved billions of dollars off New Zealand dairy returns is simply a short-run thing.

Not so, said the Finance Minister on his return from China this week.   Read more »

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Well bugger me, Bill English has become a free marketer

Bill English has just returned and discovered that the Chinese are sitting on a massive stockpile of milk products. From China:

The Finance Minister, fresh from a week long trip to China, New Zealand’s largest export market, said that there was a picture of an international glut of dairy products which would keep prices lower for some months to come.

In recent weeks the US Department of Agriculture had highlighted an increase in stocks of dairy prices being stored in China.

“It appears there’s been almost literally a mountain of milk powder in warehouses around China, more than people thought so it might take a bit longer to work through,” English said.

“The way it’s been described to me, there’s been a perfect storm of excess milk supply, influenced by events in Russia, Europe, in China, in New Zealand, Australia and that’s led to these prices which I think everyone regards, everyone believes are too low for the health of the dairy industry, whether it’s here, in China or in Europe, but it is going to take some time for the prices to pick up.”

English remained confident that there would be a recovery in dairy prices some time in 2015.

“I don’t think there’s much doubt that they’re going to pick up, it’s just a matter of when and how fast.”

Estimates ranged from picking up in a few months to remaining flat until Christmas, English said.

“I haven’t seen any estimate that it would take years to clear up.”

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Just when you didn’t think a newspaper could stoop any lower… [UPDATED]

Not content with dumbing down the main news section, a newspaper has brought in a gossip column for its business pages…and Holly Ryan the  Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter is running the tawdry little gossip column.

No I’m not kidding.

Let us know … 

This is not a gossip column but….

The new weekly Page2 is a chance to share stories and pictures about business personalities and events so please drop us a line at [email protected] We promise to be nice.”

Perhaps Holly need some tipoffs on NZME unhappiness…   Read more »