Australian milk production continues to be suppressed by bouts of extreme heat and dry weather, according to Dairy Market News (DMN). The breaks between the various heat waves have offered some bounce back in production, but the continuing cycle of heat has accelerated production declines. Milk production is hanging on in northern Victoria where irrigation systems are maintaining pastures and also due to supplemental feeding to help extend the production season. Areas without irrigation have very limited or no pastures. Dairy Australia reports December milk production up 1.4% from December 2012.
New Zealand milk production continues to be well above year ago levels. Weather conditions have been supportive. Some producers have implemented supplemental forage feeding to maximize late season production. Overall, the season looks to end strong for most producers. The gains in late season are allowing manufacturers to more confidently manage and build stocks for the upcoming carryover. Global demand for milk powders remains strong. China’s trading activity is slowly coming back following the New Year’s holiday but butteroil and milk powder prices have reached levels, where some prospective buyers are considering alternative products.