Global dairy prices ease slightly in first auction of new dairy season

The average price for commodities fell 0.9 percent overnight.
The average price for commodities fell 0.9 percent overnight. Photo credit: Getty Images

Dairy prices eased slightly in the latest Global Dairy Trade event overnight, but continued to hold most of their recent gains.

The average price for commodities fell 0.9 percent to US$4128 per metric tonne (MT), with a total quantity of 22,825 metric tonnes sold at the auction.

Prices for whole milk powder - the most important commodity for New Zealand farmers - was down 0.5 percent to US$4062/MT.

Skim milk powder also fell 0.5 percent to US$3415/MT, while butter milk powder was down 7.5 percent to US$3810/MT.

Butter was down 5.4 percent to US$4690/MT, lactose fell 1.6 percent to US$1236/MT and anhydrous milk fat dropped 0.8 percent to US$5654/MT.

The only product to go up in price was cheddar, which rose 0.5 percent to US$4324/MT.

ASB economist Nathaniel Keall said the modest easing was still a positive result for farmers.

"No news is good news," Keall wrote in ASB's Commodities Weekly report on Wednesday.

"While this is the fifth consecutive auction where prices have eased, the real story is the continued strength in whole milk powder prices.

"There is little sign of a slowdown in Chinese inventory building just yet, and while production in the Northern Hemisphere has started to strengthen, we continue to expect global dairy demand will outstrip supply over the course of the next 12 months."

Late last month Fonterra announced a record-high opening milk price forecast for the new dairy season with a midpoint of $8 per kilogram of milk solids.