MENU

The end of $1 milk?

Global milk prices are rising, potentially crunching retailers like Woolworths (ASX: WOW) and Coles, owned by Wesfarmers (ASX: WOW), which sells milk for just $1 a litre in its stores. Is this the end of $1 milk?

Typically, these retailers earn a margin of around 10% to 15% on home brand milk sales. But with prices spiking, those margins will likely compress — significantly for Coles.

In fact, the supermarket chain has been flagged for a 20% increase in the price it pays milk processors. This is because, as The Australian Financial Review has reported, “Coles has ‘rise and fall’ clauses in private label milk contracts and has vowed to increase payments to dairy processors to reflect the higher farmgate prices they incur…

However, Coles says it is confident it can absorb any cost increases in the short term through internal efficiency gains and maintain its $2 for two litre retail price strategy.”

Woolworths does not have the same clauses in its contracts so is less likely to be affected by surging prices. The company plans to launch a new home brand, Farmer’s Own, later this year, with milk sourced from farmers in NSW’s Manning Valley.

Foolish takeaway

The cases in which Australia’s supermarket duopoly gets squeezed – rather than their suppliers – are fairly rare. Despite short-term commodity price spikes, one can reasonably expect mammoth operations like Coles and Woolworths to carry the day, most days.

The Australian Financial Review says “good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Catherine Baab-Muguira does not own any shares in the companies mentioned in this article.

 

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.