Selling the iconic ice cream business Tip Top won’t end Fonterra’s financial woes, says broker Grant Williamson, of Hamilton Hindin Greene.
Along with the previously announced estimated dividend range, this amounts to a forecast cash payout of $4.95 – $5.05 for the current season. The co-op reviewed its forecast payout this morning.
Chairman John Wilson says that although dairy commodity prices had gone up, the increase was not sufficient to raise the forecast Farmgate Milk Price at this time.
"Since December, GDT prices for Whole Milk Powder have increased 45 per cent and Skim Milk Powder prices have increased 13%," says Wilson.
"There continues to be significant volatility in international commodity prices. New Zealand volumes are down, with continued uncertainty in milk production due to climatic conditions in New Zealand with droughts in Canterbury, Marlborough, Central Otago and North Otago.
"Today's forecast reflects the Board and management's best estimates at this time. We are advising farmers to continue to be cautious with budgeting and we will update them as the season progresses."
Chief executive Theo Spierings says Fonterra was sticking to its strategy, with confidence in the long-term fundamentals of dairy demand.
"We will provide a full business update when we report our Interim Result on 25 March," Spierings says.
Fonterra is required to consider its forecast Farmgate Milk Price every quarter as a condition of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA).