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UPDATE 1-Fonterra's August milk output in New Zealand inches up – Agricultural Commodities



(Adds details on results, background)

Sept 30 (Reuters) – Fonterra said on Monday that milk production in New Zealand rose marginally in August, slightly higher rainfall and better pasture cover.

New Zealand milk production rose 0.8% in August from a year ago, while collection rose 1.1%, the dairy company said in a statement.

Milk production in Australia dropped 8.4% in July compared to the same period last year, while milk collection from the region plunged 25.5% in August.

High farm input costs, challenging seasonal conditions and increased competition in Australia have hurt its milk supply, the cooperative said.

On the upside, China's dairy exports to China rose 14% in July, Fonterra said, driven by increased demand for products such as skim milk, cream, condensed milk and yoghurt.

Last week, in a highly anticipated turnaround plan, the dairy company called a halt to its ambitious and ill-fated overseas expansion and planned to turn its focus back home after posting a record annual loss.

The company has been buffeted by strong criticism from the 10,000-plus farmers who set up its cooperative as a foray into countries like China and value-added consumer products hurt its profits in recent times.

Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel
Wallis and Peter Cooney


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