Talk Money with Tony Field - July 14, 2015

(file, Getty)
(file, Getty)

It is looking increasingly likely that Fonterra is going to have to lower its forecast payout to farmers for the new season.

The next Global Dairy Trade auction takes place on Thursday morning, with the futures market pricing in yet another drop in prices.

BNZ yesterday lowered its own forecast for the payout to $4.70 per kilogram of milk solids from $5.20 per kg. This compares with Fonterra's current forecast of $5.25.

"The signs are still not good, especially after the recent ructions in financial and commodity markets, and China's prominence in them. It all adds more downward pressure to a market suffering the perfect storm of ongoing supply expansion, soft demand, and trade embargoes," the bank's analysts said.

Nothing is guaranteed though.

BNZ notes that "there are many fast-moving components influencing international dairy prices at present. Currently, we think $4.70 is best aligned to the middle of a very wide range of possible outcomes when the season's figures are finalised in over 12 months' time."

"We wonder if Fonterra will review its $5.25 forecast before the end of July. Not that we have heard anything one way or the other, but the co-op has given a very late July update in both of the past two years."

The Twitter hashtag #thisisacoup has been trending, as European leaders negotiated a new bailout package for Greece.

Many people are asking exactly what sort of rescue it is.

Greece must agree to sweeping economic changes by Thursday New Zealand time in order for Eurozone leaders to agree to start negotiating a new bailout package of up to €86 billion ($NZ140 billion).

The deal includes reforms of Greece's pension system and an increase in the number of businesses that must pay the top VAT (GST) tax rate of 23 percent on goods and services.

Up to €50 billion in assets will be prepared for privatisation, including the electricity system.

Shop hours will have to be extended and there will have to be reforms of the labour market. Many see this as an attempt to weaken the powers of the unions.

This deal is arguably tougher than the one the Greek people rejected in a referendum just over a week ago.

Prime Minister Alexis Tspiris faces a battle at home to get the deal through parliament and is already facing opposition from within his own party.

If approved, the loan will come mainly from Europe's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). From next year the International Monetary Fund will also make contributions.

For now, Greece's banks remain closed. The European Central Bank will meet on Thursday (New Zealand time) to discuss providing more help.

The gaming and business worlds are mourning Satoru Iwata who died yesterday at the age of 55 from cancer.

A star programmer, he first joined Nintendo in the 1980s, where he worked on games like Balloon Fight and EarthBound.

He rose through the company to become a director in 2000 and the company president in 2002.

His successes included Wii and DS, which revolutionised mainstream gaming.

The games were huge commercial successes for Nintendo, but as many have pointed out on social media his greatest achievement is the joy he brought to so many people.

The New Zealand dollar is trading at 66.97 US cents, down from 67.25 yesterday morning.

It is 60.82 Euro, up from 60.31 yesterday.

The kiwi is trading at 90.30 AUS cents, compared to 90.25 yesterday.

It is 43.22 pence, almost unchanged from 43.35 yesterday.

The kiwi has fallen 1.3 percent for the year against the US dollar, 5 percent lower against the Australian, down 13.45 percent against the pound and has fallen 6.5 percent against the euro.

Food prices fell by half a percent last month. That meant food prices were down by the narrowest of margins, 0.1 percent, for the year to June.

Grocery prices were down 2.1 percent, driven by lower prices for fresh milk and bread.

"The average price for 2 litres of blue-top milk was $3.36 in June, down 9.4 percent from its peak in November 2014," said Consumers Price Index delivery manager Matt Haigh.

"The price of fresh milk is the lowest it's been since August 2013, when 2 litres of blue-top cost $3.17."

Meat, poultry and fish prices also fell - down 1.9 percent from June 2014.

But restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased by 1.9 percent.

Non-alcoholic drinks were up 4.1 percent and fruit rose 5.3 percent.

If food prices are adjusted for seasonal increases (lettuces and tomatoes) they were down 0.8 percent in June.

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