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International dairy prices rose in Fonterra's latest monthly internet auction for a second month in a row after a lengthy period of decline.

The rise in prices comes as data from around the world holds out hope the pace at which the global economy is contracting may be slowing.

In the latest auction early today, the average selling price for whole milkpowder rose 3.5 per cent to US$2235 ($4011.84) per tonne, Fonterra said.

That followed a 16.6 per cent rise in early March.

"The firmer prices we're seeing are encouraging and indicate that supply and demand fundamentals are coming back into balance," Fonterra managing director of global trade Kelvin Wickham said.

"It's encouraging to see some stability in the market and while some economic risks remain, we are positive about the medium term outlook."