Dairy product prices increased at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the tenth straight time, though a decline in whole milk powder kept the gain muted.

The GDT price index rose 0.5 percent from the previous auction two weeks ago. It was the smallest increase since November. The average price was US$3447 a tonne, compared with US$3483 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 16,166 tonnes of product was sold versus 17,854 tonnes two weeks ago.

Listen to The Country's interview with Fonterra's Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wickham on the lastest GDT result:

Whole milk powder - which makes up the bulk of the auction - fell 0.7 per cent to US$3269 a tonne. It has fallen about 1.4 per cent the past month.

"The decline in overall prices continues to reflect easing demand across our markets, particularly North Asia," NZX dairy analyst Robert Gibson said in a note. While average prices eased for milk powders, they lifted for milk fats and cheese, he said.


At the latest GDT auction, butter climbed 3.5 per cent to US$5544, while anhydrous milk fat rose 4.2 per cent to US$6126 a tonne and cheddar increased 1.4 per cent to US$4319 a tonne. Butter milk powder and sweet whey powder were not offered.

Skim milk powder advanced 0.2 per cent to US$2,462 a tonne. Lactose fell 3.4 per cent to US$912 and rennet casein fell 2.4 per cent to $6460 per cent a tonne.

There were 94 winning bidders out of 155 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 527, up from 521 at the previous auction.