Dairy product prices gained at the Global Dairy Trade auction, posting their second increase in a row.

The GDT price index increased 1.7 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$2,844 a tonne, compared with US$2,819 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 36,181 tonnes of product was sold, down from 36,450 tonnes two weeks ago.

Whole milk powder inched 0.3 per cent higher to US$2,674 a tonne.

Higher volumes on offer compared with the previous event likely limited the gains in whole milk powder prices, NZX dairy analyst Robert Gibson said in a note.

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At the latest GDT auction, butter climbed 4.9 per cent to US$3,928 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat gained 4 per cent to US$4,936 a tonne.

Skim milk powder rose 3.4 per cent to US$2,042 a tonne.

"This is likely due to tighter availability of stocks on offer compared with the previous event," Gibson noted. "Over the second half of 2018, good availability of global stocks has helped to keep skim milk powder prices steady."

Cheddar increased 2.2 per cent to US$3,263 a tonne, and lactose added 1.6 per cent to US$935 a tonne.

Rennet casein, however, fell 2.1 per cent to US$5,056 a tonne.

Buttermilk powder was not offered at this event.

For sweet whey powder, no product was offered or sold, or no price was published for the last event, or on both of the two previous events.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 68.51 US cents as of 2.03pm in New York, compared with 68.03 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 143 winning bidders out of 184 participating at the 13-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 514, up from 507 at the previous auction.

- BusinessDesk