30 Jul 2009

Fonterra holds forecast at $4.55

1:59 pm on 30 July 2009

Fonterra is holding its forecast milk payout for the current season at $4.55 a kilo of milk solids.

Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden says there has been a 10-cent fall in the basic milk price, mainly because of pressure from the exchange rate.

Mr van der Heyden says the New Zealand dollar had strengthened significantly since the opening forecast in May, which assumed an exchange rate of US59c.

But the co-operative has been able to compensate for that by lifting the profit or value-added part of the payout by 10c, thanks to the improved performance of its consumer businesses, as well as lower working capital requirements and funding costs.

Fonterra will confirm its final payout figure for the past season in September. At present, it is at $5.20.

Meanwhile, Fonterra has lowered its projections for this season's milk supply because of the cold, wet winter conditions, which have limited pasture growth, and tight cashflows that have reduced farm inputs.