Dairy product prices rose at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the third time in a row and offering a boost to sentiment.

The GDT price index gained 3.1 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago to US$3,139. Some 22,927 tonnes of product was sold, up from 22,642 at the previous auction.

Whole milk powder (WMP) climbed 3.5 per cent to US$2,998 a tonne.

A large volume of instant WMP sold at a lower price than the regular grade product, AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said in a note.

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"It was unusual to see regular grade WMP selling at a premium to the higher specification product but we have seen a lot of strength in the futures market recently and it is the regular grade product this market settles against," according to Kilsby.

Skim milk powder (SMP) jumped 7.1 per cent to US$2,044 a tonne.

"The GDT prices indicate there are buyers that are prepared to pay a premium to source SMP produced in New Zealand," Kilsby noted. "Elsewhere in the world there is a glut of SMP but here we are successfully moving product and attaining good prices."

Cheddar rallied 6 percent to US$3,462 a tonne, butter increased 2.9 per cent to US$4,892 a tonne, while lactose added 1.2 per cent to US$935 a tonne.

Meanwhile, rennet casein dropped 3.8 per cent to US$6,020 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat slipped 0.5 per cent to US$5,930 a tonne.

Butter milk powder sold at US$1,720 a tonne.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 70.25 US cents at 1.26pm in New York, compared with 70.08 US cents at 5pm in Wellington the previous day.

There were 130 winning bidders out of 173 participating at the 14-round auction. The number of qualified bidders rose to 541, up from 537 at the previous auction.