Dairy product prices inched higher at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the sixth consecutive time.

The GDT price index added 0.6 per cent from the previous auction three weeks ago to US$3,395 (NZ$4,727). Some 22,004 tonnes of product was sold, up from 21,236 tonnes at the previous auction.

However, whole milk powder fell, declining 2.9 per cent to US$3,143 a tonne.

"Market expectations were for a weaker whole milk powder price, but WMP came back more than expected," AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said in a note.

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The price of an August shipment of regular grade WMP fell 6.9 per cent, much more than the 3.1 per cent fall that was factored in by the NZX Dairy Derivatives market, according to Kilsby.

"Milk output from New Zealand is expected to lift this season and Fonterra has already made a small upwards revision in the volume of whole milk powder expected to be sold on GDT next season," Kilsby noted.

At the latest GDT auction, cheddar jumped 14.5 per cent to US$4,285 a tonne, while skim milk powder rallied 7.9 per cent to US$2,156 a tonne.

Cheddar posted its second highest gain since this commodity started trading on GDT in July 2011, according to Kilsby.

Butter milk powder climbed 5.8 per cent to US$2,092 a tonne, while rennet casein gained 4.8 per cent to US$6,849 a tonne.

Butter rose 3.3 per cent to US$5,631 a tonne, while lactose advanced 1 per cent to US$971 a tonne.

Bucking the trend, anhydrous milk fat slipped 1.2 per cent to US$6,569 a tonne.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 71.92 US cents at 1.35pm in New York, compared with 71.39 US cents at 5pm in Wellington the previous day.

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There were 125 winning bidders out of 183 participating at the 16-round auction. The number of qualified bidders rose to 563, up from 553 at the previous auction.