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Dairy prices lift 0.5%

 Dairy product prices increased at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the tenth straight time, though a decline in whole milk powder kept the gain muted.

The GDT price index rose 0.5 percent from the previous auction two weeks ago. It was the smallest increase since November. The average price was US$3,447 a tonne, compared with US$3,483 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 16,166 tonnes of product was sold versus 17,854 tonnes two weeks ago. 

Whole milk powder - which makes up the bulk of the auction - fell 0.7 percent to US$3,269 a tonne. It has fallen about 1.4 percent the past month.

"The decline in overall prices continues to reflect easing demand across our markets, particularly North Asia," NZX dairy analyst Robert Gibson said in a note. While average prices eased for milk powders, they lifted for milk fats and cheese, he said. 

At the latest GDT auction,  butter climbed 3.5 percent to US$5,544, while anhydrous milk fat rose 4.2 percent to US$6,126 a tonne and cheddar increased 1.4 percent to US$4,319 a tonne. Butter milk powder and sweet whey powder were not offered. 

Skim milk powder advanced 0.2 percent to US$2,462  a tonne. Lactose fell 3.4 percent to US$912 and rennet casein fell 2.4 percent to $6,460 percent a tonne. 

There were 94  winning bidders out of 155 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 527, up from 521 at the previous auction.

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