According to the 2022/23 annual Dairy Farm Monitor, average profitability in Victoria reached its second highest in 17 years in real terms, as 96% of respondents recorded a profit across Victoria. All regions in Victoria experienced challenges with higher input costs impacting farm business margins in during the season. Meanwhile, the average milk price for each region was well-above the long-term average, lifting to $9.77kgMS.
Despite severe flooding in October, average EBIT rose to $2.68kgMS in Northern Victoria, up from $1.98kgMS in 2021/22 with total farm EBIT on average lifting to $620,000 in 2022/23, up from the $483,000 the year prior. In South West Victoria, participants reported the highest average milk price in 17 years with average EBIT of $3.24kgMS in 2022/23, pushing farm EBIT on average to $726,000, up from $376,000 the year prior. Farm EBIT lifted to $505,000 in Gippsland due to a substantial lift in the average milk price.
Across regions, participants have different outlooks for business returns in the coming 12 months with three-quarters of respondents in Northern Vic expecting higher returns in 2023/24 due to increasing milk and fodder production and stable milk prices. Most participants in Gippsland expects stable returns while farmers in South West Vic anticipates returns to decline in the coming 12 months. Farmers ranked input costs and seasonal conditions highest in the short-term, while milk price is the highest-ranking issue over the medium term.