Dairy product prices dip for a third straight auction

Whole milk powder was the bright spot.

Dairy product prices declined at the Global Dairy Trade auction, while whole milk powder posted an unexpected increase amid data showing challenging weather conditions continue to weigh on production.

The GDT price index fell 1.2 percent from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3,632 a tonne. Some 18,635 tonnes of product was sold, down from 19,292 tonnes two weeks ago.

To be sure, whole milk powder eked out a 0.1 percent increase to US$3,226 a tonne, bucking the trend. Traders had anticipated a decline, analysts said.

"Demand from North Asia was the strongest it's been since late last year. New Zealand milk production data out earlier this week will likely also have helped the whole milk powder result along," Amy Castleton, AgriHQ dairy analyst, said in a note.

At the latest GDT auction, skim milk powder dropped 8.6 percent to US$1,887 a tonne, while cheddar fell 3.9 percent to US$3,609 a tonne.

Rennet casein declined 2.9 percent to US$4,948 a tonne.

Anhydrous milk fat was steady at US$6,249 a tonne, while butter was also little changed at US$5,281 a tonne.

Lactose traded at US$590 a tonne.

Butter milk powder was not offered at this event.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 71.91 US cents as of 12.33pm in New York, compared with 72.44 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 125 winning bidders out of 170 participating at the 14-round auction. The number of registered bidders declined to 513, down from 529 at the previous auction.

(BusinessDesk)

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