Progress continues to be made on a joint venture between the European Energy Exchange and Global Dairy Trade.

In 2017, it was announced that GDT — a wholly owned subsidiary of Fonterra — had signed a letter of intent with the EEX to evaluate a new auction mechanism for dairy products in Europe.

A statement from GDT this week said the initial consultation period had ended and the initiative had received a high level of interest in the market.

To date, EEX and GDT had met more than 50 key participants of the dairy value chain, including sellers and buyers across France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as buyers from Asia.

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The two entities would now enter the next phase of the project to further develop the scope of possible services, obtain commitments from potential customers, validate commercial viability and agree a partnership arrangement.

GDT operates GDT Events, a twice-monthly auction for generic, large-volume products and has more than 520 registered bidders from more than 80 countries, while GDT Marketplace is a 24/7 e-commerce trading platform enabling the trade of any dairy product, at any time, in any quantity.

Final decisions by both partners on the initiative were expected by mid-2019.

If positive, the first auction of the new venture would be held next year.