Global dairy prices fall 1.7 percent as 'period of high uncertainty' continues

The average price dropped to US$3004 per metric tonne.
The average price dropped to US$3004 per metric tonne. Photo credit: Getty

Prices at the latest Global Dairy Trade auction fell 1.7 percent overnight, as COVID-19 continues to cause high uncertainty in the market. 

The average price dropped to US$3004 per metric tonne (MT), down from US$3045/MT in the previous auction two weeks ago.

While the price of skim milk powder rose 1.1 percent, to US$2,608/MT, all other products fell.

Cheddar dropped 3.6 percent to US$3,442/MT, Lactose was down 3.3 percent to US$1,303/MT, whole milk powder fell 2.2 percent to US$2,936/MT, anhydrous milk fat was down 2.9 percent, to US$3,873/MT and butter dropped 2 percent to US$3,370/MT.

RaboResearch dairy analyst Thomas Bailey said demand from north Asia, primarily China, increased though other key buying regions "stepped back their purchases considerably".

"As highlighted in the last event summary, the dairy market is in a period of high uncertainty," Bailey said on Wednesday. 

He said weakened economic conditions due to COVID-19 "may be driving a wait-and-see approach" to buying.

Although previous levels of extreme volatility may have passed, "normal market volatility" was expected for months to come, Bailey said.