Most analysts are picking Fonterra will announce a cautious opening payout forecast for the 2017-18 season of about $6 per kilogram of milksolids after its board meeting this Wednesday.

The exact timing of the announcement is uncertain but it is likely to be Thursday. Fonterra said it could not divulge the date because of NZ Stock Exchange rules. 

Federated Farmers dairy group chairman Andrew Hoggard said Open Country Dairy’s opening forecast of $6.25-$6.55/kg MS might influence decision making.

“My gut feeling is that they will be close to OCD. There’s a bit of competition happening with OCD opening a new plant in the Waikato and OCD announced their forecast much earlier than anyone else,” Hoggard said.

On the other hand, it was always easier politically to lift prices rather than lower them, which could point to a lower starting bid by Fonterra.

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