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U.S. retail sales stronger than expected; Dow and S&P 500 rebound; Spanish bond yields break 6%; World Bank names new president

U.S. retail sales stronger than expected; Dow and S&P 500 rebound; Spanish bond yields break 6%; World Bank names new president

Here's our summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including better than expected U.S. retail sales data; a pick up for the Dow Jones Industrial average and S&P 500; rising 10-year Spanish bond yields; and a new president for the World Bank.

Better than expected retail sales data out of the U.S. spurred a rise in stock markets overnight. With the exception of the Nasdaq, major U.S. indices all rebounded from their week-end slump.

The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 123.14 points to close at 12,972.73 while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 4.33 points to 1,374.50. The Nasdaq Composite fell 14.40 to 2,996.93 mainly on the back of Apple shares which dropped 3.3% from a record high of US$644 last week to US$585.20.

U.S. retail sales increased 0.8% after rising 1% in February. (See Reuters story here for more).

Some economists were predicting only a 0.3% gain in retail sales.

Meanwhile, concerns remain about Spanish debt levels which are causing EU companies to repatriate funds in large amounts. It's proven a drag on the U.S. dollar which fell last night against the euro. Oil prices were also down.

Spain's admission that it has most likely slid into another recession, its second since 2009, is also weighing on investors mind.

Yields on Spanish 10-year government bond yields broke the 6% mark. It is believed the yields could continue rising to 7%, a red flag for Spain's ability to service its debt costs.

There are reports suggesting financial intervention to help Spain as early as next month.

Meanwhile, German and U.S. 10-year government bond yields both fell by a couple of basis points

The World Bank has named Korean-born American health expert Jim Yong Kim as its new president. Kim, 52, was chosen ahead of Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Unlike other elections, the election result was not unanimous. According to a report filed by Reuters, Kim was swept into the position on the support of Washington's allies in  Western Europe, Japan and Canada.

Kim, nominated as a candidate for the job by U.S. president Barack Obama in March, said in a statement that he would seek a "new alignment of the World Bank Group with a rapidly changing world." (See Reuters story here for details).

"Together, with partners old and new, we will foster an institution that responds effectively to the needs of its diverse clients and donors; delivers more powerful results to support sustained growth; prioritises evidence-based solutions over ideology; amplifies the voices of developing countries; and draws on the expertise and experience of the people we serve," Kim added.

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Closer to home. Oz. $1 milk with added cheese waste sold as fresh, milk factories say "the supers made me do it"
IN THE milk industry it's called ''permeate'' - a watery, greenish waste product from the production of cheese - and documents obtained by the Herald reveal that it forms up to 16 per cent of the fresh milk [Australians] drink.
Internal documents from Australia's biggest supplier, National Foods - which makes Pura, Big M, Dairy Farmers and supplies both Woolworths and Coles brand milk - reveal its milk now contains up to 16.43 per cent permeate. One document, labelled ''permeate cost savings'', reveals up to $22,960 can be saved by adding 16 per cent permeate to the production of 350,000 litres of whole milk.
National Foods is a corporate milk processor owned ny Lion Nathan
Mr Nathan said supermarket "milk wars" put pressure on producers to boost permeate levels.

Read more:



Shit ctnz, that is tantamount to treason in God farming NZ.  Good question though.


This question was dealt with at length here about a year ago. Raw milk ex-farm-gate is required to be no less the 4% milk fat. One contributor here (CO? I think) said they get 5%+ from their herd. AASA standards allows anything > 3.2% to be labelled as "full cream milk". Next time you are in the supermarket check the nutrition panel on the carton or bottle.
It's more of an AU problem. In NZ supermarket, milk is categorised as Silver Top, BlueTop, Yellow or Geen. The Australian branded equivalent of BlueTop (3.2%) is marketed and labelled as "full cream milk". The watery home brands are worse than the branded stuff yet proudly labelled as "full cream" and the nutrition panel still says 3.2%

In part its compare and contrast what we have with Fonterra against what could be - looking over in Oz with corporate milk processors. Most of the Oz farm co-ops have gone over the past 20 yrs and international corps have moved in - see dairy, grain and wine (Oz wool is a whole nother story).
Seeing what the supermarkets do there gives an indication of their thinking for things here. Unfortunately they are the lock on the consumer markets that Fonterra need crack to get the cheese and yoghurt margins flowing - the last Fonterra result showed the margin blow back from the supers.
THE supermarket wars have taken a toll on first-half sales at Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter

Read more:

The thing that worries me is, as a part time home cheese maker - I only use raw milk - how do you get a "greenish waste product"out of cheese waste? All I get is lovely pale white whey? What are these guys doing with OUR food! Read "Swindled" if you want to know what's possible....

good Q.....I scratched my head, green sounds like some nightmware waste product and besides that why even is it re-used?  Oh no we dont need regulations....ffs 16%?
....I switched some years back to organic but stopped as I found I had become lactose sensitive....sometimes I wonder if it isnt because of the crud they put in food labeled "safe".

My uncle had a "cream-supply" farm in the days when they seperated the cream on the farm. The remainder was called skim-milk and was pumped down to the pig-stys into concrete tanks. It was left for a week and the "whey" would seperate out and the "curds" would float to the top. The "whey" always had a light green tinge.

@ Onehanger
I make my own Quark (white cheese), but as raw milk is hardly available, I have to use Kefir or Yoghurt  to get to curdle the normal supermarket milk. Always get yellow/greenish whey, which is very nutritious  and I  use it instead of water to steam vegies in it. Dried whey powder is sold in health shops (expensive) as nutritional supplement for people who want to build their muscles. 
So may be the rumen/curdling agent added in cheese making causes the greenish colour.
I would still like to know which milk brands are "stretching" their milk!

Permeate is the term used to describe the milk-sugar (lactose) and minerals part of whole milk. Permeate is produced by passing milk through a fine sieve to separate milk sugars and minerals from milk protein and fat.
Because milk is a natural food that comes straight from the cow, its composition can vary by farm and by breed. Regional and seasonal factors also contribute to differences in milk composition.
Government regulations ensure that milk and dairy products conform to food standards for quality, consistency and food safety.
The composition of milk is governed by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Standards Code (the Code).
The Food Standards Code allows manufacturers to use milk components to standardise the composition of milk sourced from dairy farms, as required, to produce nutritionally consistent and safe products.
To satisfy consumers’ demand for choice of products, manufacturers, in accordance with the Code, may vary the levels of milk-fat, milk sugar (lactose) and protein

I'll say it again - "What are these guys doing with OUR food!"

Separating out the parts of the sum. In NZ, supplying what the consumer wants - consistentcy and a choice of low fat, high fat,  medium fat milk etc. Over a ten day period we can have ten different milk composition (fat:protein) readings.  It all depends on what the cows have being grazing on and how much they have been fed. Now consumers don't like to have their milk tasting differently from purchase to purchase so the manufactuers use it's parts to ensure a consistent taste.
Under the Food Standards Code, components of milk can be added to or withdrawn from milk to standardise natural variations in fat and protein and produce a range of consistent and nutritious products.

I think you mistake "what the customer wants" with what suits your business! If you were more honest with what was being done to the "milk" and what was actually being delivered to the customers I think your market research might differ - but then that would see a drop in sales, or worse, a drop in productivity, and you wouldn't want that would you?
Honesty and transparency is what matters not science!

Mmm...not sure customers want inconsistency in taste.  I buy my milk and use Trim milk - MOTH uses Blue Top and neither of us enjoy 'straight from the vat milk' unless it is in desserts like custards etc. As we have got older raw milk has become too rich for us.  So as a customer - the choice of milk is what I want.  BB farmers I know buy their milk.
How much water is injected in to the meat you buy at the supermarket?
How much nitrogen and fertilser is used in the production of vegetables in NZ - it could be argued that as the vast majority of tomatos are being hydroponically grown they are really nothing more than water and chemicals in a soft shell.
You say you make cheese -  ask most people what cheese is made from and they will say milk - and they would be wrong.  It is made from by products (or parts of the sum) of milk.  Is that how you advertise it or the supermarkets advertise it?  No it says 'cows milk', goats milk etc.
It wouldn't affect me as a producer - I run a KISS system of farming so my productivity would remain the same.  Unlike offshore dairy farmers, we don't have quotas or limits on our production here.  Under DIRA Fonterra is compelled to pickup as much milk as I produce - that's not necessarily the situation in Oz, which is where this all started.
You want honesty and transperancy - it's there on the label, I am not to blame if you don't understand it. 

Agreed with everything you say except - the ingredients label says "standardised milk" if I remember right - it doesn't say "an assembly of a varied set of finite ingredients that came from milk assembled to look like milk" does it?
Let's not get started on why the milk factories homogonise milk....nice to have a chat - keep up the good work and I'll get back to that farm gate.

Days to the General Election: 22
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.