Domestic milk prices set to drop

Allie Yin (2), of Dunedin, enjoys a glass of milk yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Allie Yin (2), of Dunedin, enjoys a glass of milk yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
New Zealand's milk prices are once again at the whim of the international market, but this time changes should be positive for consumers.

Fonterra Brands New Zealand is set to cut its wholesale domestic milk price on January 30.

A spokesman for the dairy giant said retailers had been notified, but he was unable to say what the reduction would be and what impact it would have on consumers.

"In terms of what the retail price is of milk for consumers, we have no control over that. It's up to the retailers," he said.

Last year, Fonterra froze its domestic milk prices from February to December in the wake of rocketing international prices.

A "softening" of the international price was behind the impending domestic market change, the spokesman said.

Progressive Enterprises spokesman Luke Schepen said it was "good to see the price of milk coming down".

"Milk is a very competitive product for retailers. Any price decrease is always good for retailers and consumers," he said.

The company, which runs Countdown supermarkets, received milk from a range of suppliers and was "still working through prices with them".

Foodstuffs New Zealand managing director Steve Anderson said milk prices had been a "hot topic" recently and knew it was "difficult for many Kiwis to keep milk on their shopping list".

The company supplies Pak'n Save and New World supermarkets.

While he did not know the size of the price cut, Mr Anderson said any reductions would be passed directly to customers.

Dunedin Budget Advisory Service executive officer Shirley Woodrow said she had heard comments, both from clients and the public, about how "ridiculous" the price of milk was.

People had either cut back or were going without milk and any cost reduction "may take a while" to impact on spending patterns, she said.


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