January 30, 2019 / 9:28 PM / 22 days ago

UPDATE 1-Fonterra's NZ milk output rises 4 pct in Dec on good weather

(Adds details on milk prices, share movement)

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Dairy company Fonterra on Thursday said total New Zealand milk production rose 4 percent in December from the same month a year earlier due to favourable weather.

Australian milk production decreased 6 percent in October from a year earlier owing to drought, high input costs and increased cow cull rates, the company said in a statement.

International milk prices have continued to recover, marking a two-month rising streak at the most recent Global Dairy Trade auction on Jan. 16 after falling most of last year.

Last month, the world’s largest dairy exporter downgraded its forecast milk payment to farmers due to lower global dairy prices.

The Auckland-based company’s business in Australia has been affected by drought as the country had its third-warmest year on record in 2018.

Shares of Fonterra were up 0.21 percent in early trading. The stock has risen about 1.7 percent so far this year after having fallen about 27 percent in 2018. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson and James Dalgleish)

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