Dairy Product Prices Climb amid Solid Appetite for Whole Milk Powder

DAIRY PRODUCT PRICES gained at the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction, as stronger demand pushed prices higher for the fourth straight auction.

The GDT price index rose 4.2 percent from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3,057 a tonne, compared with US$2,986 a tonne two weeks ago. Around 27,909 tonnes of product was sold, down from 28,651 tonnes two weeks ago. Whole milk powder advanced 3 percent to US$2,777 a tonne.

“Overall, the results were in line with the NZX Dairy Derivatives market expectations leading into the event,” NZX Dairy Analyst Mr. Robert Gibson said in a note. Offer volumes for whole milk powder were unchanged on the previous event at 17,350 tonnes, but up 39 percent on the previous year, indicating stronger demand for available volumes.

At the latest GDT auction, skim milk powder jumped 10.3 percent to US$2,405 a tonne, while lactose rallied 7.9 percent to US$1,032 a tonne. Butter climbed 4.6 percent to US$4,262 a tonne, while cheddar rose 4.2 percent to US$3,504 a tonne, and anhydrous milk fat added 3.2 percent to US$5,294 a tonne. Bucking the trend, rennet casein fell, declining 1.4 percent to US$5,047 a tonne.

On an average, rennet casein prices have been in decline since the October 2 GDT event in 2018, with this event likely reflecting some lift in volumes sold, which could have placed further downward pressure on prices, Mr. Gibson noted. Butter milk powder was not offered at this event. For sweet whey powder, no product was offered or sold, or no price was published for the last event, or on both of the two previous events. The New Zealand dollar last traded at 68.03 US cents as of 1.26 pm in New York, compared with 68.22 US cents at the previous close in Wellington. There were 123 winning bidders out of 191 participating at the 13-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 524, up from 515 at the previous auction.