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Dairy prices rise 2% in year's first auction

The price of dairy products rose 2% in Fonterra's first GlobalDairyTrade auction of 2013, recovering losses through the tail-end of last year.

The average winning trade-weighted price increased to $US3357 per tonne from $US3311/tonne at the December 19 sale.

The gains were led by a 4.7% boost in skim milk prices to $US3572 per tonne. Prices for whole milk powder, which typically accounts for more than half the product sold, rose 1.6% to $US3199 per tonne.

The total volume sold was 45,252 tonnes for a total of $US151.9 million across 13 rounds of bidding. That was down from 47,195 tonnes at the last auction.

Last month Fonterra, which owns the GDT platform, raised its forecast farm-gate payout and chief executive Theo Spierings said he expected dairy prices to rise in the first half of this year due to rising feed prices from unfavourable climatic conditions in the US, South America and Europe.

Anhydrous milk fat prices fell 0.2% to $US3169 per tonne at today's auction, rennet casein prices declined 0.8% to $US8401 per tonne and cheddar dropped 1.9% to $US3458 a tonne.

The average price of butter milk powder advanced 1.1% to $US3640 a tonne and milk protein concentrate gained 1.4% to $US6122 per tonne. Lactose products haven't been sold at the auction since November 6.

There were 122 winning bidders from 164 participating bidders out of a pool of 743 qualifying bidders.


More by Paul McBeth, BusinessDesk