The latest Global Dairy Trade auction result has "exceeded expectations" says Fonterra's Managing Director of Co-operative Affairs Mike Cronin.

Dairy product prices rose, advancing for the first time since January - despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

Dairy prices lift for first in five auctions

Dairy commodity prices defied gravity to increase by 1.2 per cent, while butter rallied 4.5 per cent to US$4,263 a tonne.


Whole milk powder climbed 2.1 per cent to US$2,820 a tonne which was a "really solid event", Cronin told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

"The good news around that is we've got Chinese customers returning [to the] GDT and hopefully that's a reflection of their economy returning to a more normal state."

Skim milk powder slipped 0.8 per cent to US$2,514 a tonne, but this was still "well ahead of EU/US prices," said Cronin.

"There's a real premium there so again, really pleased with that result."

Listen below:

The latest GDT result reinforced a good farmgate milk price range of $7 - $7.60 for 2019 - 2020 said Cronin, but Fonterra was still "scanning the horizons" for the coming season.

"We're looking really closely at the economies around the world - and ours - to see what's coming up next. It's a story of two different seasons possibly as well."

Also in today's interview: Cronin took a closer look at how global supply and demand and a lower exchange rate could affect New Zealand's dairy farmers in the 2020/21 season.