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Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, as slides in rennet casein and butter outweighed a surprise gain in whole milk powder.
The GDT price index retreated 1.7% from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3,222 a tonne. Some 25,454 tonnes of product was sold, down from 26,519 tonnes two weeks ago.
Whole milk powder gained 1.5% to US$2,973 a tonne.
"There was a lift in the number of buyers from North Asia at this event, so it's likely that buyers from China bought some coverage for the medium term," AgriHQ dairy analyst Amy Castleton said in a note.
"There were some declines in whole milk powder prices, for product shipping in August, December or January," Castleton added.
"Buyers are relatively comfortable in the short term, and as there is a possibility that prices will decrease they will be unwilling to purchase product too far out."
At the latest GDT auction, skim milk powder rose 0.8% to US$1,959 a tonne.
Meanwhile, rennet casein plunged 9.5 % to US$4,602 a tonne, while butter sank 8.1% to US$4,953 a tonne.
"Ahead of the event, the NZX Dairy Derivatives market had expected a flat result for butter prices," Castleton noted. "This decline places Oceania as the cheapest source for butter."
Anhydrous milk fat dropped 5.2% to US$5,629 a tonne, while cheddar gave up 3.3 % to US$3,596 a tonne.
Butter milk powder traded at US$2,225 a tonne.
For sweet whey powder and lactose, neither an index nor price was available.
The New Zealand dollar last traded at 67.88 US cents as of 2.49pm in New York, compared with 67.77 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.
There were 126 winning bidders out of 168 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 524, the same as at the previous auction.