Dairy product prices gained at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the second time in the past nine auctions.

The GDT price index climbed 2 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3,303 a tonne, compared with US$3,202 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 37,345 tonnes of product was sold, down from 39,689 tonnes two weeks ago.

Whole milk powder rose 1.9 per cent to US$3,133 a tonne.

"Strengthening prices was likely linked to fewer volumes sold at this event, compared with the previous event," NZX dairy analyst Robert Gibson said in a note.

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At the latest GDT auction, lactose jumped 5.6 per cent to US$770 a tonne, while skim milk powder rallied 3.4 per cent to US$2,599 a tonne.

"Contrary to market expectations, skim milk powder prices also showed some strength at this event," Gibson noted. "Similar to whole milk powder, this is likely due to reduced volumes sold compared with the previous event. Lower volumes sold is a reflection of demand into North Asia (predominantly China) which has eased in volume terms at this event."

Butter climbed 2.7 per cent to US$4,129 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat added 0.6 per cent to US$5,030 a tonne, and cheddar rose 0.4 per cent to US$3,846 a tonne.

Bucking the trend, rennet casein slipped 0.1 per cent to US$6,636 a tonne.

Butter milk powder was not offered at this event.

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 63.53 US cents as of 3.20pm in New York, compared with 63.44 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 127 winning bidders out of 189 participating at the 13-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 501, down from 510 at the previous auction.

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- BusinessDesk