The Dairy Code’s 1 June deadline for opening milk prices may have passed, but several Australian processors have raised their opening farmgate prices. Bega Cheese lifted its average weighted price to $6.94 kgMS for southern Victoria and south-east Australia, while northern Victoria and the Riverina suppliers will receive $7.09kgMS. Bulla Dairy Foods announced a range of $6.40kgMS – $6.90kgMS back in April but has since lifted the opening price by 30c kgMS. Lactalis also raised their opening prices to $7.30kgMS for northern Victorian and southern NSW/Riverina farmers and a range of $7.15kgMS – $6.90kgMS for Gippsland and western district seasonal milk suppliers. Burra Foods is the latest processor to step up, lifting its milk price by 20c kgMS to $6.60kgMS – $7.00kgMS.
The opening price bidding war is being viewed by some farmers as an unexpected consequence of the Dairy Code with increases indicating processors clearly have funds in reserve when they announce on 1 June, while others point to the need to secure supplies from a shrinking pool of milk.