3 Oct 2008

Dairy commodity markets down

8:40 am on 3 October 2008

Fonterra says it does not know when a slump in dairy prices on world markets will come to an end.

Chairman Henry van der Heyden says the turmoil on world markets has hit demand for dairy commodities.

The latest ANZ commodity price index shows falling dairy prices have resulted in the biggest monthly fall in the price of New Zealand commodities for 21 years.

Prices for dairy products fell nearly 8% and 15% in the past two months.

Mr van der Heyden says the drop in the value of the New Zealand dollar is providing some relief from the slump.

When converted back into New Zealand dollars, returns at the farm gate declined 0.9% due to a lower dollar and is 3.6% higher than a year ago.

Aluminium fell 8.4% and beef by 7%. Wool and wood products also declined.