9 Jun 2009

US dairy subsidy levels announced

2:05 pm on 9 June 2009

The US Agriculture Department has announced payment levels for a revived dairy export subsidy programme that New Zealand and other countries have condemned as a trade protectionist move.

Cash bonuses are to be paid to exporters who lower their prices to make a sale.

They range from $US100 per tonne for cheese, to $US450 per tonne for butter and $US650 for anhydrous milkfat and butteroil.

The United States revived the export subsidies last month after the European Union re-introduced similar subsidies in January.

Australia and New Zealand made the subsidies a focus of criticism at the Cairns Group meeting in Bali this week.

New Zealand Federated Farmers has also attacked the dairy subsidies in an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal.