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Westland Milk Products records highest-ever one-day milk collection

Monday 8th December 2014

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Westland Milk Products, the country's second largest dairy cooperative, has recorded its highest ever one day collection, with its tankers bringing in slightly more than four million litres of milk on Oct 31.

The Hokitika based cooperative's farmer shareholders have lifted production by more than 5 percent this season in spite of wet and cold weather on West Coast with 335 million litres of milk sent so far to the company's plants in Hokitika and Rolleston, Westland said in a statement.  West Coast based farmer suppliers have produced a 3 percent rise on this time last year while Canterbury shareholders are up by more than 14 percent.

Chief executive Rod Quin said the peak milk flows stretched Westland's current processing capacity to the limit although any capacity constraints will be resolved when the new dryer at Hokitika comes on stream for next season and the UHT plant in Rolleston shortly after that. The plant will enable the company to process more high value products even through the season's peak.

Quin said despite the current glut of supply on world dairy markets, he wasn't expecting Westland to have any problems on selling the record production because as much as possible is being funnelled into added value nutritional products for which the market remains strong. 

Dairy product prices sank to the lowest level since August 2009 in last week's GlobalDairyTrade auction and dairy also helped knock the nation's terms of trade down from a 40 year high in the third quarter. Economists expect Fonterra Cooperative Group to lower its milk payout forecast when the board meets this week, from last season's record payout, reducing the stimulus to the broader economy.

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