Milk prices reach boiling point

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Saputo and Fonterra increased their milk prices to $9.10/kg MS last week, while Bulla jumped to $9.50-$9.80/kg MS. Photo by Cath Grey

The start of the new milk year is just days away and processors are continuing to raise the stakes.

On Tuesday, June 21, Saputo increased its opening weighted average milk price to $9.10/kg of milk solids.

A day later on June 22, Fonterra increased its 2022-23 average milk price to $9.10/kg MS.

Then late at night, on June 23, Bulla Dairy Foods stepped up again — ensuring the majority of its suppliers will now receive between $9.50 and $9.80/kg MS.

Yarroweyah dairy farmer Daryl Iskov said he couldn’t believe the milk prices.

“The milk price is great, I’ve never seen it so good in all my life — and I’m an old farmer,” Mr Iskov said.

Dairy farmer Gordon Emmett milks about 200 head in Stanhope and said the milk prices were good.

“It’s where it needs to be for the cost of the inputs,” Mr Emmett said.

“I can see us making a profit. We supply ACM. We originally went for ACM because they had a good price and we switched over the year of the walk-backs, so it worked out for us.

“ACM guaranteed they’ll pay 10 cents more than Bega. But really, let’s face it, everyone is paying a good price this year.”

Bamawm farmer Mark Gardiner runs a 1000-cow dairy and supplies Noumi (formerly Freedom Foods).

“The milk price is fantastic. These are large enough increases that we’ll see a larger profit margin, even allowing for the cost of grain,” Mr Gardiner said.

Wyuna East dairy farmer Julie Young also supplies Noumi.

“The price is going in the right direction,” she said.

Merrigum dairy farmers Jamie Walford and Sally Rowe recently started their own dairy and are milking about 80 head.

“Because input prices have gone up, it’s not like our profit margin has increased,” Ms Rowe said.

“We are with ACM. They came to use very early with a really good deal. We are happy sticking with them because they are easy to deal with and when you need something, they’re there.”

The 2022-23 milk season will begin on Friday, July 1.