Dairy prices climb for third straight auction

(BusinessDesk) - Dairy product prices rose at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the third straight time, as buyers stocked up in anticipation of easing output.

The GDT price index climbed 5.9% from the previous auction three weeks ago.

The average price was $US3553 a tonne. Some 22,197 tonnes of product was sold, down from 23,319 tonnes three weeks ago.

Whole milk powder rallied 7.6% to $US3226 a tonne.

"Falling milk production in New Zealand – and revisions to offer volumes – continue to support prices on GDT," AgriHQ dairy analyst Amy Castleton says.

"There were no revisions to whole milk powder volumes ahead of this latest event, but buyers do seem to be more nervous that they will not be able to fulfill their requirements if New Zealand milk production continues to fall."

At the latest GDT auction, buttermilk powder jumped 8.4% to $US2039 a tonne, while butter rose 7.9% to $US5277 a tonne

Skim milk powder added 7.2% to $US1932 a tonne, while cheddar gained 7.2% to $US3739 a tonne.

Rennet casein increased 5% to $US4943 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat rose 0.5% to $US6581 a tonne.

"Volumes of skim milk powder and butter had been pulled back ahead of this event," Ms Castleton says.

"Anhydrous milk fat volumes had been lifted but there is strong demand for this commodity, which is keeping prices high."

No prices were available for lactose.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 73.08USc as of 12.14pm in New York, compared with 72.65USc at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 126 winning bidders out of 188 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of qualified bidders rose to 524, up from 517 at the previous auction.