Dairy product slipped at the Global Dairy Trade auction, declining for the first time since March

The GDT price index slipped 0.8 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago to US$3,434. Some 21,171 tonnes of product was sold, down from 22,004 tonnes at the previous auction.

Whole milk powder dropped 3.3 per cent to US$3,022 a tonne.

"Whole milk powder has been selling regularly over recent months, so some buyers have sufficient coverage for now," AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said in a note. "The quantity of whole milk powder sold to North Asia was less than seen at recent events."

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At the latest GDT auction, lactose plunged 11.1 per cent to US$869 a tonne, while rennet casein shed 8 per cent to US$6,104 a tonne, and cheddar declined 3.8 per cent to US$4,121 a tonne.

Even so, anhydrous milk fat climbed 4.4 per cent to US$6,885 a tonne, while butter rose 2.9 per cent to US$5,768 a tonne, and skim milk powder rose 1.4 per cent to US$2,218 a tonne.

"Skim milk powder (SMP) prices continued to show some strength," Kilsby noted. "Oceania-sourced product achieved a premium over European-sourced product. Prices for European SMP and US non-fat dry milk have continued to lift, which has provided support to Oceania prices."

Butter milk powder was not offered at this event.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 72.36 US cents at 12.29pm in New York, compared with 72.32 US cents at 5pm in Wellington the previous day.

There were 111 winning bidders out of 160 participating at the 21-round auction. The number of qualified bidders fell to 522, down from 563 at the previous auction.