Dairy product prices declined at the Global Dairy Trade auction, easing for the seventh time in the past eight auctions, as whole milk powder fell.
The GDT price index fell 0.4 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3,202 a tonne, compared with US$3,255 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 39,689 tonnes of product was sold, up from 34,410 tonnes two weeks ago.
Whole milk powder fell 0.8 per cent to US$3,076 a tonne.
"Although there was a slight lift in demand for October deliveries, prices eased for all remaining periods, subduing any gains made by the lift in demand for October deliveries," NZX dairy analysts Robert Gibson and Amy Castleton said in a note.
At the latest GDT auction, anhydrous milk fat dropped 1.5 per cent to US$4,988 a tonne, while lactose retreated 0.9 per cent to US$729 a tonne.
Cheddar slid 0.8 per cent to US$3,827 a tonne.
Meanwhile, rennet casein rallied 4.6 per cent to US$6,632 a tonne, while butter milk powder gained 3.4 per cent to US$2,476 a tonne.
Skim milk powder rose 0.7 per cent to US$2,500 a tonne. "This was largely due to stronger demand for all delivery dates except January," Gibson and Castleton noted. "Demand from North Asia continues to lift, with volumes sold into this region well up on the previous event."
"This is fairly normal for this time of year and continues to reflect good demand for milk powders into this region as New Zealand heads towards peak milk production which occurs in October," the analysts added.
Butter was steady at US$4,029 a tonne. "While some of this demand will be linked to North Asia, Australia and Middle East are also important markets for butter with total GDT volumes also lifting into these markets which is also likely linked to the lift in demand for butter," Gibson and Castleton said.
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 63.28 US cents as of 3.08pm in New York, compared with 63.08 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.
There were 153 winning bidders out of 197 participating at the 13-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 510, up from 507 at the previous auction.