Aussie dairy farmers face huge challenge as prices soar
Farmers and ranchers in rural Australia have been left to cope with soaring prices of milk and eggs, while dairy farms have also faced pressure from the global food supply.
Key points:A lot of farmers in rural areas are still struggling with the global economic downturn, and it is a tough task for a lot of themFarmers in the state of Victoria are experiencing record milk pricesThe farm sector is expected to recover from the economic downturn and the milk prices are expected to be around $1.25 per litre for the average consumer in 2019-20Farmers have also been hit by a drop in the global supply of milk, with imports from China increasing by more than 20 per cent from 2016-17, the Australian Industry Group (AIG) said.
“There has been a massive decline in the international demand for milk and this is impacting the dairy industry,” Mr Lister said.
While Australia has the world’s largest dairy industry, the supply of raw milk has been significantly reduced.
In the past five years, the global demand for raw milk fell from $8.3 billion to $2.2 billion, the AIG said.
“There is a lot going on,” Mr Anderson said.
“We have a lot more farmers in the country that are dealing with some of the impacts of this global economic change.”‘
It’s going to get worse’Farmers and rancher David Anderson says prices will go up in 2019, with the average Australian dairy farmer now expecting to spend $1,300 on milk in 2019.
He is now in the process of moving his family to a new farm in South Australia, which will bring an extra $150,000 to his family.
“It’s really tough because I have a big family,” he said.
The price of milk is expected a lot higher in 2019 than the previous year, Mr Anderson estimates.
Mr Anderson says the price of raw dairy milk will go as high as $2,300 in 2019 but he’s not sure he’ll be able to afford it.
“We’re hoping that in 2019 the market will get stronger,” he says.
The AIG is forecasting milk prices will be around half of what they were in 2019 because of the global downturn and there will be a drop of about 15 per cent in the number of litres of milk consumed globally, which the Aig said will have an impact on the price for Australians.
Mr Anderson said there are a lot fewer farmers in his area, and a lot less money in their pocket to pay the prices that are now going up.
“I’ve got to have a couple of people working, so that’s the problem with it,” he explained.
“You’ve got the average person who is making $80,000 a year with $40,000 or $50,000 in the bank and then you’ve got some people who are struggling.”
Mr Anderson is not worried about losing his family’s income, but he is also worried about his ability to feed his family when he is away.
“At the moment we have a pretty good income, I have got three young kids, so I’m just worried about my ability to pay for them and if I’m not able to feed them,” he admitted.
“This year I will probably just have to take a cut in my milk supply and maybe I’ll have to go on the lam for a while.”