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NZ dairy scare impact minimal, needs careful handling: minister

An Abbott Laboratories sales staff hands over a powder milk tin during a production recall at a milk shop outside Hanoi August 6, 2013. REUT
An Abbott Laboratories sales staff hands over a powder milk tin during a production recall at a milk shop outside Hanoi August 6, 2013. REUT

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's finance minister said on Wednesday the result of dairy giant Fonterra's latest auction suggests it has suffered little impact from a recent scare over contaminated products.

Finance Minister Bill English told parliament the issue would need careful handling if the company and the country were to continue to benefit from high commodity prices.

"The indications are that, providing the issue of the potential contamination is handled effectively and transparently, the direct impact on the New Zealand economy can be contained," English said in reply to a question.

In the latest auction of dairy goods by Fonterra overnight, the average price fell 2.4 percent, but volumes rose strongly.

(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Paul Tait)

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