- Australian dairy farmers face more cuts to milk prices after April cutbacks
- Murray Goulburn announced an opening price for the new season at $4.31
- Farmers says 2016/17 milk price won’t even cover the costs of production
- Murray Goulburn said prices are set to rise slightly from the opening price
Dairy farmers say they’re being milked dry after Australia’s largest dairy producer slashed milk prices for a second time in two months.
Murray Goulburn announced on Tuesday an opening price for the 2016/17 season at $4.31, leaving farmers ‘gutted’.
Murray Goulburn slashed milk prices in April to between $4.75 and $5.00 per kilogram of milk solids, down from $5.60.
‘They were gutted by the first decision and now they’re numb at this decision,’ United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Adam Jenkins said on Tuesday.
Australian dairy farmers face more cuts to milk prices after April cutbacks as Murray Goulburn announces opening price for the new season of $4.31
‘Dairy farmers are still carrying the weight of MG’s poor management decisions that’s led to the debt they’re being forced to repay on the back of this low opening milk price,’ Mr Jenkins said.
David Basham, acting president of advocacy body Australian Dairy Farmers, told the Sydney Morning Herald that farmers would now face a whole year of being paid less for their milk compared to the cost of producing it.
‘This is going to be really tough for the Murray Goulburn farmers – it’s going to be below the cost of production for the majority of them,’ Mr Basham said.
‘We think that about $5 to $5.20 is about where cost of production is in the current environment and this is a good way below that.’
Murray Goulburn said it eventually expects to pay dairy farmers $4.80 per kilogram over the upcoming season, with prices set to rise slightly from the opening price.
‘This is a conservative price, and it’s most likely that MG is erring on the side of caution, but it opens up the possibility of stepping up to a more reasonable price later in the season,’ Mr Jenkins said.