Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, the first decline since July.

The GDT price index fell 3 per cent to US$2,880, down from US$2,975 at the previous auction two weeks ago. Some 33,937 tonnes of product was sold, down from 35,086 tonnes at the previous auction.

Whole milk powder dropped 3.8 per cent to US$2,681 a tonne.

"Average prices were down for virtually all commodities on offer-the exception being butter milk powder-but certain shipping periods were better supported," AgriHQ analyst Susan Kilsby said in a note. "Higher prices were achieved for some commodities with a December 2016 shipping date."


In terms of whole milk powder prices, sales for the December shipping period drew stronger demand with Contract 2 prices lifting by 0.3 per cent, according to Kilsby.

At the latest GDT auction, lactose sank 9.7 per cent to US$744 a tonne, while skim milk powder fell 3.9 per cent to US$2,209 a tonne.

Rennet casein declined 3.7 per cent to US$6,574 a tonne, while cheddar weakened 2.3 per cent to US$3,430 a tonne, and anhydrous milk fat decreased 1 per cent to US$4,954 a tonne.

Butter slipped 0.3 per cent to US$3,891 a tonne.

Bucking the trend, butter milk powder jumped 9.3 per cent to US$2,408 a tonne.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 72.14 US cents at about 12.50pm in New York, compared with 72.75 US cents at 5pm in Wellington the previous day.

There were 125 winning bidders out of 166 participating at the 13-round auction. The number of qualified bidders rose to 617, up from 616 at the previous auction.