New Zealand: more dairy cows on the North Island [News Oceania n°8/2017]

Period: April 18 – May 12, 2017


  • Milk production: continues to be limited by generally lower herd sizes. Nevertheless, there is increasingly a sense that production recovery is underway. In March milk production was down -5.05% if compared to March 2016.
  • Milk producers: are cautious in making capital investments in farms after recent tough times.


  • Milk production: in March was +9.22% above March 2016.
  • Weather situation: New Zealand is still recovering from two cyclones.
  • Milk producers: there is a growing consensus that dairy herd rebuilding is increasing cow numbers on the North Island more than cow numbers declined on the South Island. If this continues it is expected to benefit milk production moving forward.
New Zealand's milk production increased in March

New Zealand’s milk production increased in March


  • Australia *: -8.09% (Jul 16 – Mar 17 vs. Jul 15 – Mar 16)
  • New Zealand *: -1.58% (Jun 16 – Mar 17 vs. Jun 15 – Mar 16) - Butter prices in Oceania, US and Germany – Butter prices in Oceania, US and Germany

BUTTER (82%): price range slightly narrowed. Milk production is seasonally lower, constricting also butter production volumes. New Zealand, in particular, focuses on producing butter for export markets.

CHEDDAR CHEESE: prices increased. The continuing tightness of dairy fat supplies in Oceania is helping price strength. Consumer demand for cheese is also cited as a factor in price strength.

SMP: after an increase prices slightly weakened, but remain above EU prices. Most Oceania SMP production is to fill existing contracts. Contracting for the upcoming new milk production season is slow, as buyers are not concerned about getting supply commitments considering the abundance of SMP availability. Exporting SMP continues to be challenging.

WMP: prices strengthened, keeping slightly above pricing in the EU. Part of the Oceania price strength is attributed to expectations for milk production and pricing in the upcoming milk production season. This level of pricing is making buyers wary of committing very far into the future as they hope for some price relief.

New Zealand: increasing dairy cows number on the North Island could benefit milk production moving forward.


Note: · Assessments about market trend are expressed in US$; · * Dairy season: July, 1st – June, 30th (Australia), June, 1st – May, 31st (New Zealand).

Source: USDA summarized by the CLAL Team

More informations about milk production in New Zealand and Australia are available on

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The team is composed of young people who with the help of Computer Science study the dairy market and develop tools to provide the Operators of the dairy sector with a comprehensive real-time view of the national and international market trends.

Posted in News Oceania EN, Oceania_

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