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Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction as whole milk powder continued its slide amid increased supply.
The GDT price index fell 1.3% on Wednesday from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$2,934 a tonne, compared with US$2,980 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 39,143 tonnes of product was sold, up from 38,811 tonnes two weeks ago.
Whole milk powder declined 1.8% to US$2,768 a tonne.
Fonterra last week lifted its 12-month whole milk powder offer volumes by 20,450 tonnes, with the increases occurring through the October, November and December GDT events, AgriHQ dairy analyst Amy Castleton said in a note.
"Whole milk powder prices were therefore expected to come down due to the supply pressure," according to Castleton, adding that there was 5% more whole milk powder sold at this event than at the September 4 event.
"This includes a lift in volume purchased by North Asian buyers, though most regions which purchased whole milk powder at this event bought more than they did last time," Castleton said.
At the latest GDT auction, cheddar dropped 3.5% to US$3,503 a tonne, while skim milk powder retreated 1.1% to US$1,980 a tonne.
"Prices did lift for New Zealand skim milk powder to ship in February and March, indicating buyers don't need SMP urgently but there is some longer term demand for this commodity," noted Castleton.
Anhydrous milk fat fell 0.6 %to US$5,294 a tonne, lactose slipped 0.3 %to US$910 a tonne, while butter inched 0.1% lower to US$4,270 a tonne.
Bucking the trend, rennet casein rose 1.7 %to US$5,421 a tonne.
For sweet whey powder, neither an index nor price was available. Butter milk powder was not offered at this event.
The New Zealand dollar last traded at 65.82 US cents as of 3.26pm in New York, compared with 65.78 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.
There were 149 winning bidders out of 179 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 503, down from 541 at the previous auction.