DAIRY farmers will be better able to understand and interpret commodity market price signals following the launch of the new Milk Price Index last Friday.
There’s also been a ‘Retrospective Farmgate Milk Price Index’ introduced to establish an index of actual prices received by farmers, by region.
It’s all part of the Government’s $579 million Dairy Support Package in line with a 2016 election commitment.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the index would provide farmers another source of dairy market information.
“Farmers will be able to see an index of commodity prices received by Australian dairy processors for cheese, butter, skim milk powder and whole milk powder exports,” Minister Littleproud said.
“There will also be a one-year forecast of prices that will be updated quarterly, along with regular global, national and regional commentary.
“A Retrospective Farmgate Milk Price Index will also assist farmers. Once farmers begin providing prices via an online form, an index of actual prices received in each of the eight dairy regions will be built.
“The more dairy farmers take part, the better this index will be.
“The commodity milk price index will be an extra tool to help dairy farmers plan ahead, with more market information on commodity dairy prices and global conditions.
“Better price transparency and market signals for farmers is a good thing.
“We continue to consult industry and welcome feedback.”
The index is part of the government’s $579 million Dairy Support Package assisting farmers affected by retrospective cuts to farm gate milk prices in 2015–16 and is being managed by the Department of Agriculture. The Department will also work with industry to educate farmers on how best to use and interpret market signals from the index.
Deloitte Access Economics is providing the economic modelling and analysis and RM Consulting Group is developing the education resources for dairy farmers.

Fast Facts

• Dairy is Australia’s third largest rural industry by farmgate value, with $3.685 billion in farmgate production in 2016–17
• The industry exported $3 billion worth of dairy products in 2016–17
• Approximately 42,000 people are directly employed in the industry.