After four consecutive drops in the Global Dairy Trade Auction, New Zealand dairy farmers finally have something to celebrate.

Prices in last night's auction rose 3.6 per cent across the board.

Whole milk powder - the crucial reference point for Fonterra's farmgate milk price - rose 3.2 per cent, inching closer to the US$3000 mark at US$2985/tonne.

But skim milk powder was front and centre in the limelight – rocketing up 8.4 per cent to US$2889/tonne.


Cheddar wasn't far behind, with a 7.2 per cent jump to US$3674/tonne.

Anhydrous milk fat also recorded a small lift of 2 per cent to US$3910/tonne.

The other two products on offer both fell slightly. Butter slipped 1.4 per cent to US$3282/tonne and lactose dipped 2.7 per cent to US$1277/tonne, while sweet whey powder and butter milk powder were not on offer.

About 33,791 MT of product sold at this event.

Fonterra will announce its annual results on Friday, and confirm the milk price paid for the 2019/20 season, which was last pitched in a range of $7.10-$7.20 per kg.

The co-op's milk price forecast for the current 2020/21 season is in a range of $5.90-$6.90 per kg of milksolids.

The result was "a good one all right" Fonterra Head of Co-operative affairs, Mike Cronin said.

"Thirty three thousand metric tonnes that we sold - that's about $153 million into the New Zealand economy which is always a good thing to see," Cronin told The Country's Jamie Mackay.


While Cronin was impressed with the results for whole milk powder, skim milk powder, and cheddar cheese, he said that butter was still struggling due to a "very competitive market".

Listen to the full interview below: