Murray Goulburn lifts farm gate milk price

MURRAY Goulburn Co-operative has lifted its farm gate milk price for the fifth time this season, despite a decline in global dairy commodity prices in recent months.

The farmer-owner co-operative yesterday increased its payments by nine cents per kilogram of butter fat and 19 cents per kilogram of protein.

The step-up takes Murray Goulburn's weighted-average available price to $6.66 per kilogram milk solids (kgms), fractionally ahead of rival.

It puts all three major processors within a few cents of each other, with Fonterra paying $6.64/kgms and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter $6.67/kgms after their most recent increases.

Murray Goulburn also revised upward its forecast for the full year from the previous estimate of $6.66/kgms to $6.85/kgms.

Managing director Gary Helou said external factors, including fluctuating international commodity prices and currency movements, may result in a final price that is higher or lower than this forecast.

"Global prices for dairy ingredients have decreased from their record highs in the past two months. The Australian dollar has also seen some recent strength but remains lower than the same time last year when it was well above parity with the US dollar.

"As we look towards the 2014/15 season, these market movements will influence our farm gate price. However, as the current year's production is now largely sold, their impact on our current season price is limited," Mr Helou said.

He said company cost reductions and investment in innovation and product value adding also contributed to the step-up.

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