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Fonterra's August milk output in New Zealand inches up

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[BENGALURU] Fonterra said on Monday that milk production in August in New Zealand rose marginally, amid slightly higher rainfall and better pasture cover.

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

Milk production in Australia dropped 8.4 per cent in July compared with the same period last year, while the company's milk collection from the region plunged 25.5 per cent in August.

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

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On the upside, the company's dairy exports to China grew 14 per cent 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 pledged 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 make up its cooperative as its foray into countries like China and value-added consumer products hurt its profits in recent times.

REUTERS