The latest Global Dairy Trade event should be still be seen as a "good result" despite a small dip, says Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell.

The GDT price index fell only 0.8 per cent compared to the previous auction on April 22.

Whole milk powder prices, which have the greatest bearing on Fonterra's farmgate milk price, rose 0.1 per cent to US$2,745/tonne.

Skim milk powder - the second biggest "reference" product for Fonterra, was also up 0.1 per cent to an average price US$2,373/tonne.


Results for other main commodity groups were a drop of 2.4 per cent to US$3,973/tonne for anhydrous milk fat (AMF) and butter which was down 5.8 per cent to US$3,867/tonne.

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell. Photo / Peter Meecham
Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell. Photo / Peter Meecham

Overall dairy was still "defying gravity" especially due to potential global recession and a "tough 2020 ahead of us", Hurrell told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

Demand was "very well balanced" with "good buying" out of South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East, but it was important to remember that was off a "relatively low base", said Hurrell.

"Of course we're in the off-season here ... so May is generally the lowest period for sales at a GDT despite the fact there were 70-odd million dollars worth of sales made last night, it's our low period.

Listen to Jamie Mackay's interview with Miles Hurrell on The Country below:

"So it's probably not a fair reflection either on the long-term picture as our volumes start to ramp up for the new season".

Fonterra's new season forecast would come out late May, early June and this latest GDT event will "give some guidance" on that result, said Hurrell.

There were a range of commentators predicting what Fonterra's Farmgate Milk Price would be, but Hurrell said it was "too early to say" at this point.