New Zealand milk production was steady in the month of January, reflecting unexpectedly high rainfall levels for the month.

Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand data showed that production fell by just 0.3 per cent, on a milksolids basis, in January.

Production in the season-to-date down was down by 2.2 per cent and by 1.1 per cent in the 12 months to January, also on a milksolids basis, DCANZ said.

Farmers have reported reasonable levels of rain over the month, despite fears that El Nino weather pattern would result in drought conditions over the summer.


"If we look around New Zealand, most of the dairy regions have been pinched for a period of time, but in general weather conditions have been pretty good," ANZ rural economist Con Williams said.

This week's GlobalDairyTrade auction showed prices easing for the fourth sale in a row, largely in response to a surplus of supply over demand.

Williams said world dairy prices may have already responded to better-than-expected New Zealand growing conditions.