7.5 Magnitude Earthquake Hits South Island of New Zealand; Impact on Dairy Collections and Processing Currently Limited

14 November 2016

Following Monday morning’s (NZT) 7.5 magnitude earthquake centered around the north-east of the South Island, further details are emerging about the impact of the event. HighGround’s thoughts are with our New Zealand based contacts during this challenging time. 

For ongoing coverage, useful resources are New Zealand Herald and Radio New Zealand.

While there is widespread impact to roading and port infrastructure and buildings in the South Island and Lower North Island, HighGround’s current assessment via contacts in New Zealand and news outlets is that there is limited impact to dairy production, collections and processing.

Milk Production Impact: Farmers in the North Canterbury region impacted by the quakes have reported minor damage to some milksheds and potential disruption to tanker access and milking schedules. At time of writing, Fonterra has advised that 12 farms could not milk their herds due to milkshed damage, and 30 farms in the Kaikoura region that could not have their milk collected. 

The salt in the wound potentially is a large storm system about to hit the affected regions, with significant rainfall predicted.

Milk Processing Impact: As of time of writing, there has been no advice from New Zealand processors of any impact to processing facilities located in the South Island. Fonterra factories located within impacted regions include Clandeboye and Darfield but are both said to be unaffected by the quakes. Fonterra has released the following statement:

“We will continue carrying out safety assessments over the course of the day but at this stage we are comfortable there are no significant structural concerns or on-going impact on the normal running of our business,” said Chief Operating Officer for Global Operations, Robert Spurway.

Synlait have provided advice that their Dunsandel plant has not been affected. There are currently aftershocks impacting the lower North Island but no reported damage to any processing facilities. 

We will continue to keep our subscribers up to date with any dairy related  information in the context of the earthquakes. Please ask any of the team for updates over the coming days

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