Of all the stun grenades Fonterra lobbed into NZ Inc. this week, none rocked the dairy conglomerate's farmer-owners more than the expected $200 million writedown of the New Zealand consumer business.

Flat out with calving and by all accounts battered and bruised by societal, regulatory and banking pressures, shareholders say they have yet to fully absorb the news of Fonterra's likely $590-$675m loss and near-$1 billion asset writedown this year.

But what had sharply registered was the announcement Fonterra's New Zealand consumer business was in intensive care - alongside less surprising cot cases like the Brazil, Venezuela, Australia and China

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