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Dairy product prices retreat in biggest decline since early March

Wednesday 20th December 2017

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Dairy product prices slid at the Global Dairy Trade auction, with an unexpected decline in the price of whole milk powder. 

The GDT price index dropped 3.9 percent from the previous auction two weeks ago to US$2,969. Some 29,592 tonnes of product was sold, marginally higher from 29,514 tonnes two weeks ago.

Whole milk powder fell 2.5 percent to US$2,755 a tonne.

On Tuesday, a report by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand showed production rose 3.4 percent in November when measured in terms of milk solids.

“New Zealand milk production data released late yesterday may have contributed to buyer apathy,” Amy Castleton, AgriHQ dairy analyst, said in a note. "The more informed international buyers would be aware that New Zealand typically has surplus pasture during November.”

“Therefore the impact of the dry conditions will only start to be reflected in milk volumes from December on as this is when the quantity and the quality of the pasture available generally started to fall,” according to Castleton. 

At the latest GDT auction, cheddar sank 7.9 percent to US$3,389 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat shed 6.7 percent to US$6,392 a tonne.

Rennet casein dropped 6.3 percent to US$4,506 a tonne, while skim milk powder declined 4.8 percent to US$1,675 tonne, and butter gave up 2.3 percent to US$4,474 a tonne.

No prices were available for lactose. Butter milk powder was not offered at this event. 

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 69.87 US cents at 1.06pm in New York, compared with 69.95 US cents at 5pm in Wellington the previous day.

There were 139 winning bidders out of 167 participating at the 13-round auction. The number of qualified bidders fell to 509, down from 563 at the previous auction.


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