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Dairy product prices inch up

Dairy product prices increased at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the ninth straight time, though a decline in whole milk powder limited gains.

The GDT price index added 0.8 percent from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3,483 a tonne, compared with US$3,324 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 17,854 tonnes of product was sold, down from 21,713 tonnes two weeks ago.

Whole milk powder fell 1.3 percent to US$3,287 a tonne.

The decline “reflects weaker demand across our markets, particularly North Asia, and follows eight consecutive increases in average prices since December 2018,” NZX dairy analyst Robert Gibson said in a note.

At the latest GDT auction, rennet casein rallied 7.5 percent to US$6,703 a tonne, while butter climbed 5.8 percent to US$5,374 a tonne.

Butter milk powder gained 5 percent to US$3,548 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat rose 3.7 percent to US$5,867 a tonne, and cheddar increased 3.2 percent to US$4,248 a tonne.

Skim milk powder advanced 1.8 percent to US$2,468 a tonne.

“This follows two consecutive declines in average price at previous events, with the increase at the latest event possibly reflecting a decline in volumes sold, and some clearing through the system of skim milk powder stocks which were sold at European Union intervention earlier in the year,” according to Gibson.

Meanwhile, lactose dropped 5.3 percent to US$948 a tonne.

For sweet whey powder, no product was offered or sold, or no price was published for the last event, or on both of the two previous events.  

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 67.47 US cents as of 2.06pm in New York, compared with 68.06 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 109 winning bidders out of 166 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 521, up from 518 at the previous auction.

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