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Fonterra milk collection falls

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016 Paul McBeth
A worker in a milking shed on a Waikato dairy farm. © Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg A worker in a milking shed on a Waikato dairy farm.

Fonterra's New Zealand milk collection dropped 10 per cent in the first month of the 2017 season, a period when production is typically at a low.

The Auckland-based dairy cooperative collected 9.9 million kilograms of milk solids in June, down from 11.1 million kgMS in the same month a year earlier, Fonterra said in its monthly Global Dairy Update.

North Island collection fell 6 per cent to 7.6 million kgMS while the South Island dropped 22 per cent to 2.3 million kgMS.

"The change in production comes at a time of year when milk production is at a seasonal low, with most farmers having dried off in preparation for spring calving," Fonterra said.

Australian milk collection sank 26 per cent to 6 million kgMS in June from a year earlier, and Fonterra said milk production "continues to be heavily impacted by the reduction in Australian milk prices to align with global dairy prices."

The slow start to the season comes at a time when farmers have culled livestock to cope with a slump in global dairy prices, and the update shows total New Zealand production fell 2 per cent in the 12 months ended May.

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