Dairy product prices slip

Whole milk powder fell 1.2 %. Photo: ODT files
Whole milk powder fell 1.2 %. Photo: ODT files

Dairy product prices declined at the Global Dairy Trade auction as whole milk powder sustained its downward trend amid greater supply.

The GDT price index fell 1.9% from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$2,901 a tonne, compared with US$2,934 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 41,981 tonnes of product was sold, up from 39,143 tonnes two weeks ago.

Whole milk powder fell 1.2 % to US$2,753 a tonne.

"A decline had been expected, as volumes of whole milk powder are building at this time of season as New Zealand heads into its peak milk production period," AgriHQ dairy analyst Amy Castleton said in a note.

The price for regular grade whole milk powder to ship in December rose 1.3 %, against expectations for a 0.4 % decline in this grade and contract, Castleton added.

"Demand for whole milk powder was high. North Asia (which includes China) bought more than half of the whole milk powder that was sold.

"China is likely to be buying product to ship in December at this time so that it lands during the period in which a lower tariff rate applies, from January 1, 2019," Castleton said.

At the latest GDT auction, butter dropped 5.9% to US$4,016 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat shed 4.4% to US$5,069 a tonne.

"The decline in prices for the milk fat products seems to simply be on greater volumes-there was more butter and anhydrous milk fat sold at this event than at the" equivalent one a year earlier, according to Castleton.

"However, Oceania fat prices are quite low relative to both Europe and the United States."

Cheddar retreated 1.2% to US$3,468 a tonne, while skim milk powder eased 0.3% to US$1,982 a tonne.

Meanwhile, lactose rose 0.6% to US$913 a tonne, while rennet casein gained 3.0% to US$5,552 a tonne, and butter milk powder climbed 3.6% to US$2,522 a tonne.

For sweet whey powder, neither an index nor price was available.

There were 143 winning bidders out of 170 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 506, up from 503 at the previous auction.

- BusinessDesk

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