Was last week’s 3.4% drop in the Global Dairy Trade overall price index a warning sign or a temporary dip? Economists are divided.
Anne Boniface, Westpac senior economist, says there was a 2.5% lift in whole milk powder prices, while butter and AMF prices also rose, partially unwinding the big falls seen in the previous auction. But the lift did not fully unwind the weaker dairy prices through November.
“Local conditions for most dairy farmers remain very favourable, and strong momentum in New Zealand milk production likely continued in November.”
Westpac is picking a $6.10/kgMS milk price for the season. “As we’ve noted previously, this forecast continues to assume we see a modest improvement in dairy prices in early 2019, with the risk of a further downward revision if this fails to eventuate in the coming months.”
ASB’s senior rural economist Nathan Penny says the rise snapped a run of seven consecutive falls.
“Nonetheless, we are suspicious. First, the rise is similar to falls in the US currency over the past fortnight. In particular, the Chinese yuan has lifted, making the USD-priced products cheaper for Chinese buyers.”