Dairy prices slip for second straight auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, with whole milk powder declining amid an increase in supply.

The GDT price index retreated 0.6% from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3593 a tonne. Some 19,292 tonnes of product was sold, down from 20,256 tonnes two weeks ago.

Whole milk powder decreased 0.8% to US$3232 a tonne.

"Fonterra had increased its whole milk powder offer volumes ahead of this event as milk flows start to improve, so buyers are unlikely to feel as much urgency to secure product," Amy Castleton, AgriHQ dairy analyst, said in a note.

At the latest GDT auction, buttermilk powder dropped 4.3% to US$1959 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat shed 3.2% to US$6245 a tonne.

Butter slid 1% to US$5280 a tonne.

Meanwhile, cheddar rose 1.7% to US$3759 a tonne, while rennet casein gained 2.2% to US$5128 a tonne.

Skim milk powder rallied 5.5% to US$2051 a tonne.

"This strength was driven by higher prices for UHT grade product," Castleton noted. "Skim milk powder is running a bit short in New Zealand, but there is plenty of stock elsewhere in the world."

No prices were available for lactose.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 72.94 US cents as of 12.26pm in New York, compared with 72.26 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 130 winning bidders out of 174 participating at the 22-round auction. The number of registered bidders rose to 529, up from 527 at the previous auction.

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