Dairy product prices fall 1.2% in GDT auction, biggest decline in 3 months

Dairy product prices recorded their biggest drop since early November in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, with the volume sold falling to an eight-month low. Milk protein concentrate and butter led the decline.

The GDT Price Index fell 1.2 percent from the last sale two weeks ago. The average winning price was US$5,016 a tonne from US$5,042 a tonne at the last auction. Some 34,568 tonnes of product was sold, the lowest since June last year and down from 35,399 tonnes of product in the previous sale.

Milk protein concentrate fell 5.4 percent to US$8,824 a tonne and butter slid 3.8 percent from its highest level in at least a year, to US$4,586 a tonne. Whole milk powder, the biggest product sold by volume, rose fell 0.3 percent to US$4,999 a tonne.

Prices fell for the first time in three auctions and come after the monthly ANZ Commodity Price Index rose 1.2 percent to a record in January, with butter leading the gains. In December, Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's biggest exporter of dairy products, kept its forecast farmgate milk price at a record high while slashing its dividend target, saying high prices for milk powder hadn't been matched by cheese and casein.

Cheddar dropped 1.7 percent to US$4,845 a tonne in the latest auction and rennet casein fell 3.5 percent to US$11,461 a tonne. Butter milk powder rose 3.1 percent to US$5,355 per tonne and anhydrous milk fat fell 4.5 percent to US$5,314 a tonne. Skim milk powder slipped 0.1 percent to US$4,780 a tonne.

There were 130 winning bidders at the auction over nine rounds. There were 191 participating bidders out of a total number of qualified bidders of 793.


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