Dairy prices have remained steady in the Global Dairy Trade auction - up 0.3 per cent across the board.
Whole milk powder prices - the biggest influencer on Fonterra's farmgate milk price - recorded no change to retain an average US$4,085/MT; while the second biggest "reference" product for Fonterra – skim milk powder – gained 0.6 per cent to an average US$3,367/MT.
The biggest moves came from butter milk powder – up 17.6 per cent to an average US$3,710/MT, and lactose – down 6.5 per cent to an average US$1,307/MT; however both had very little product traded.
Prices for the other main commodity groups all increased, led by cheddar - up 2.2 per cent to an average US$4,393/MT.
Butter followed close behind with a 2.0 per cent lift to an average US$5,776/MT, while anhydrous milk fat rose 0.8 per cent to an average US$6,209/MT.
A total of 25,104MT of product was sold, attracting 99 successful bidders over 15 rounds.
In a market update on March 5, Fonterra lifted its 2020/21 forecast farmgate milk price range to between $7.30-$7.90 per kg, up from $6.90-$7.50 per kg.
Fonterra's chief executive Miles Hurrell was pleasantly surprised by the result.
Hurrell told The Country's Jamie Mackay he expected a softening in the market after the "significant rise a few weeks ago".
"The market was predicting it to come off a little bit, but this is what happens out in the market – you can never quite tell what will happen. So we'll take it as a positive as it remained relatively flat."
Meanwhile milk production in the northern hemisphere was "subdued," but Hurrell expected it to increase in the next two months.
"I think that might coincide with the strong domestic markets again, both Europe and North America, as the vaccines take hold. So all of that paints a pretty good picture."
Back home, the New Zealand production season was almost complete and "doing very well" across the board, compared to "the last two or three years," Hurrell said.
Global shipping had "been a bit of a mess," due to Covid-19 and the recent Suez Canal blockage, but Hurrell said Fonterra was "faring OK".
"Certainly, by year end we'll be well and truly caught up on the supply chain."