Another blow for dairy farmers as global prices drop again

There's more bad news for dairy farmers, with international dairy commodity prices dropping again.

Dairy commodity prices fell 3.5 percent overall at the November 20 Global Dairy Trade (GDT) event overnight. 

While whole milk powder (WMP) prices fell slightly, the drop was driven more by significant falls in anhydrous milkfat (AMF) and butter. 

NZX Dairy Data and Insights Anaylst, Amy Castleton, said the 1.8 percent fall in the WMP price index  was a surprisingly resilient result. 

"WMP offer volumes were at their highest for the season at the November 20 event," she said.

"In addition, just released New Zealand milk production figures showed October production was up 6.5 percent on a milksolids basis."

Most of the whole milk powder sold went to North Asia, which includes China.

The price indices for AMF and butter dropped 9.4 percent and 9.6 percent respectively. 

Regular grade AMF and unsalted butter for January shipping decreased 9.9 percent and 10.3 percent respectively. 

Ahead of the event, the derivatives market had expected lifts for the grades and contracts of each of these products.

"There was significantly less volume of AMF sold compared with the previous event, but there was more butter sold," said Ms Castleton.

"There hasn't been such a big percentage change in prices for either AMF and butter since late 2016," she said.

The skim milk powder (SMP) price index decreased 1.6 percent overall. Medium heat SMP for shipping in January decreased 1.8 percent on the previous event.