The index for dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, declining a fourth consecutive time, as whole milk powder prices continued their fall.

The GDT price index slipped 0.4 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago.

The average price was US$3302 a tonne, compared with US$3208 a tonne two weeks ago.

Some 24,711 tonnes of product was sold, up from 24,239 tonnes two weeks ago.

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Whole milk powder average prices fell to US$2969 a tonne. The index was unchanged.

"[A]lthough the index was unchanged, this was the seventh consecutive decrease in average prices since March 2019," NZX dairy analysts Robert Gibson and Amy Castleton said in a note.

"Total offer volumes were up leading into the event, with the softer average price likely a reflection of a lift in volumes sold and reduced buyer activity out of North Asia," they said.

Source / Global Dairy Trade
Source / Global Dairy Trade

At the latest GDT auction, butter milk powder sank 11.9 per cent to US$2,500 a tonne, while butter slumped 4.8 per cent to US$4,339 a tonne.

Rennet casein dropped 3.9 per cent to US$7,221 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat fell 1.9 per cent to US$5,433 a tonne.

Cheddar dipped 1.5 per cent to US$3,756 a tonne, while lactose eased 1.1 per cent to US$866 a tonne.

Bucking the trend, skim milk powder rose 3.2 per cent to US$2,430 a tonne.

"Prices lifted across all contract dates, with the strongest increases being for August and September contracts," according to Gibson and Castleton.

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"Offer volumes were down on the previous event, with the lift in prices-similar to whole milk powder-likely in response to a reduced volumes sold."

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 66.70 US cents as of 3.33pm in New York, compared with 66.72 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 122 winning bidders out of 174 participating at the 14-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 509, down from 527 at the previous auction.