WCB matches Fonterra milk price increase

WARRNAMBOOL Cheese and Butter (WCB) has lifted its milk price, matching last month’s rise by rival Fonterra.

Chief executive David Lord announced the increase of 16 cents per kilogram butterfat and 40 cents per kilogram protein following yesterday’s scheduled April review.

It takes WCB’s weighted average price to $6.67 per kilogram milk solids.

The company also lifted its forecast for the full season to above $6.80 per kilogram milk solids. This is also in line with Fonterra’s full season forecast of $6.80 to $7 per kilogram.

Murray Goulburn’s February step-up took its weighed average price to $6.53 per kilogram milk solids and it then forecast a full-season price up to $6.70 per kilogram.

Mr Lord said some of the key drivers of WCB’s performance remained strong. 

“This along with our focus on business improvement, developing a higher value product mix and delivering strategic projects are contributing to stronger business performance,” he said.

The retrospective payment will be made with April returns in May.

While milk price drivers remain strong, there has been a retraction of global prices in recent weeks, mainly due to decreased demand from China as the government tightens its monetary policy.

The Australian dollar exchange rate is also playing against farmer returns, having topped 94 US cents this week. It has risen from under 87 cents in January.

WCB will hold a supplier meeting at the Simpson football club next Wednesday at 11am.

shynes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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