Saputo and Fonterra open around $8

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Picture: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz Photo by AP Photo/The Canadian Press

Forecasts of a reduction in milk prices for the approaching season have come home to roost with two major processors announcing significant cuts in their opening price.

Saputo Dairy Australia has announced its opening weighted average milk price of $8 to $8.15 per kilogram of milk solids for exclusive supply in the 2024-25 season.

SDA opened about $9/kg MS last year.

Fonterra has dropped its opening price to $8/kg, compared to last year’s opening at $9.20/kg.

Saputo has told its suppliers it can provide a range of tailored support and payment options, including a Dairy Investment Rebate and Milk Cooling Rebate to support on-farm infrastructure investment.

A flat monthly payment option is available to suppliers that prefer a consistent payment structure throughout the year and a growth payment of $0.70/kg MS on any net growth in a farm’s milk solids, as well as finance options.

SDA’s Milk Supply and Planning director Kate Ryan said the company’s opening milk price “factors in ongoing global market volatility due to subdued demand, as well as greater variability in domestic markets and anticipated market returns”.

“As we see more market certainty, we would expect to review our prices during the year,” she said.

Fonterra Oceania managing director Rene Dedoncker said this price supports the scenario planning they have been undertaking with Australian farmers since November to prepare for a milk price that reflects the shift in market conditions.

“In recent years, our industry has seen higher commodity prices, stronger consumer demand and a shortage of milk to meet this demand,” he said.

“However, heading into FY25, the global market for cheese, which is a strong contributor to our prices, has declined since the start of FY23.

“Cost of living pressures have led to softer domestic consumer demand and higher volumes of lower cost dairy imports.”

Mr Dedoncker assured suppliers that Fonterra Co-operative Group’s announcement that it is exploring divestment options for Fonterra in Australia has no impact on the business and they will continue to operate as usual.