NZX offers milk forecasting services to dairy industry

NZX, which operates the New Zealand stock exchange and the dairy futures market, is offering a new service for the dairy industry to forecast local milk production and calculate milk prices.

From this month, NZX is offering a Milk Production Predictor, which estimates New Zealand milk production for the coming three months, with forecasts based on climate, pasture growth and cow numbers, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. The data will be available by subscription for $199 a month.

The exchange is also starting a Farmgate Milk Price Calculator to help farmers translate GlobalDairyTrade auction prices into the prices they are likely to receive at the farmgate for milk solids, it said. The service is free to registered users.

“Both these tools represent a step-change in dairy forecasting,” said NZX chief executive Tim Bennett. “We have built these tools to help create more transparency in the marketplace – good information is valuable for the dairy sector.”

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, holds its next fortnightly GlobalDairyTrade auction early tomorrow morning. Dairy prices edged up from a two-year low at the last event, having slumped about 45 percent from a peak in February. Dairy products are New Zealand’s biggest commodity export, worth an annual $15.9 billion in the year through August. Last month, Fonterra cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent to $5.30 per kilogram of milk solids from a previous forecast of $6/kgMS, citing weaker global dairy prices.

The NZX’s online services have been developed by its agri-information division and Massey University with funding support from Callaghan Innovation.

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