Westland Milk Products is taking a cautious approach to its forecast opening payout for the new dairy season, well below what Fonterra has announced.
The West Coast dairy co-op predicts a payout of $5.80 - $6.20 per kg of milk solids to its 330 farmer shareholders, for the 2010/11 season, starting in August.
That is almost $1 less than Fonterra.
Chief executive Rod Quin says the opening forecast could be higher given the current market conditions, but he says Westland would rather take a prudent approach.
This season's forecast payout has been lifted by 10c to between $6.20 - $6.40 per kg of milk solids, which would be Westland's second highest milk payout.