Pay rise delights farmers

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Pay rise delights farmers

Optimistic outlook: Leongatha South dairy farmer, Gordon Vagg.

By Brad Lester
THE dairy industry is continuing to recover from a trying period, after co-operative Murray Goulburn announced an opening price 30 per cent up on last year’s figure.
MG announced an average of $4.75kg of milk solids, ahead of rival Fonterra’s $4.36kg and Bega Cheese’s $4.70kg, or 35 cents a litre.
But while MG’s price is well above last year’s, it is down on the opening price for the 2008-09 season.
The long term forecast remains optimistic, with MG managing director Stephen O’Rourke informing suppliers the current market forecast shows a final milk price for the season of $5.30-$5.50kg.
“If the market conditions allow us to meet this forecast we are committed to delivering this return via step-ups in milk price throughout the coming year,” he said.
Leongatha South dairy farmer Gordon Vagg said a higher opening price was welcome but he believed the market was far from fully recovered.
“It’s still not going to be marvellous. It won’t be as much as what it was a few years ago,” he said.
“Things like fertiliser and fuel are still going up. But the international market is still going in the right direction and becoming more stable, so things are looking up.”
Had MG not announced a better price, many farmers would have experienced more financial hardship, Mr Vagg said.
“A lot of farmers made a loss this last financial year so once the price is better, they will be able to start paying off their debt. They need to start making a profit for the next 12 months,” he said.
Mr O’Rourke said that dairy market conditions were now below the highs of 2007-08 but above historical trends.
“Given a high Australian dollar, we believe that market prices at these levels and above are necessary for sustainable dairy farming returns and we will work to maintain and grow fair value for our dairy farmers,” he said.
However Mr O’Rourke cautioned about the international economy.
“The stronger opening price and forecast is against a backdrop of ongoing uncertainty and potential volatility in the world economy and this can impact on forecast prices up or down,” he said.

Short URL: http://www.thestar.com.au/?p=320

Posted by SiteAdmin on Jul 7 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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