Fonterra Raises Forecast Amid Supply and Demand Shifts

New Zealand's dairy giant, Fonterra, has recently made significant adjustments to its farmgate milk price forecast for the 2023/24 season, reflecting changes in supply and demand dynamics. In this blog post, we'll dive into the details of these changes, what they mean for both Fonterra and the global dairy industry, and the factors contributing to this shift.


A New Outlook

Fonterra has announced an updated farmgate milk price range for the upcoming season, setting it between $6.50 and $8.00 per kilogram of milk solids (kgMS). The midpoint of this range is now $7.25/kgMS, which represents a 50-cent increase from their previous forecast. These adjustments have been made in response to evolving market conditions.


Supply and Demand Dynamics

The driving force behind this shift in forecast is the improved supply and demand dynamics. Fonterra has noted that better supply conditions have contributed to this positive outlook. However, it's not all smooth sailing. The aggregate milk growth in key export countries is expected to be below the average for 2024. This indicates that Fonterra is preparing for a mixed bag of challenges and opportunities in the upcoming season.


Weather Patterns and Their Impact

CEO Miles Hurrell also pointed out that the El Niño weather pattern may further impact supply. Weather patterns play a significant role in the dairy industry, affecting factors such as feed availability and cow health. These variables can influence milk production, and thus, prices. Hurrell's statement highlights the importance of staying vigilant about external factors that could disrupt the market.


Demand Uncertainties

While recent results from the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auctions have been promising, Fonterra remains cautious about the sustainability of the increased demand, particularly from China. Other key regions also exhibit a degree of caution when making forward purchases. This uncertainty means that Fonterra has not yet contracted a significant proportion of its 2024 sales book, leaving them exposed to potential fluctuations in commodity prices.


Exchange Rate Volatility

Another factor to keep in mind is exchange rate volatility. Currency fluctuations can have a significant impact on Fonterra's financial performance, as they export dairy products to various international markets. Thus, staying aware of and adapting to exchange rate changes is crucial in managing risk.


The Season Ahead

In summary, Fonterra's decision to adjust its farmgate milk price forecast for the 2023/24 season reflects a complex and ever-evolving landscape of supply and demand dynamics, weather patterns, and global economic factors. As the company strives to navigate these uncertainties, the global dairy industry will be closely watching for the outcome. We'll continue to monitor these developments to keep you informed about how they may impact the world of dairy in the coming year. Stay tuned for updates as the season unfolds.


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