July 31, 2008

Farmers Call for Another Milk Price Hike

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)--Under pressure from soaring prices of corn and other feeds, some 2,000 Japanese dairy farmers called for a further hike in wholesale milk prices at a demonstration in Tokyo Thursday.

The farmers from across the nation called on major dairy companies and retailing groups to accept a price increase of more than 10 yen per kilogram of milk.

Milk prices were already raised by 3 yen in April as a result of annual price-setting negotiations between a farming group and dairy companies.

According to the agriculture ministry, mixed feed prices have risen about 50 pct over the last two years. Nevertheless, the increase has not been adequately shifted onto milk prices.

In June, the government decided on emergency aid to dairy farmers totaling 73.8 billion yen.

But the farmers argue the current surge in feed prices is beyond their cost-cutting efforts.END

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