The GDT price index rose 1.7% from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was US$3481 a tonne, compared with US$3446 a tonne two weeks ago. Some 37,968 tonnes of product was sold, down from 38,681 tonnes two weeks ago.
Whole milk powder gained 2.2% to US$3321 a tonne. That is the highest average price since December 2016, NZX dairy analyst Robert Gibson said in a note.
“The NZX Dairy Derivatives market was expecting prices to lift for whole milk power, skim milk powder and anhydrous milk fat, and butter,” Gibson said. “However, it is strength in the milk powders that have driven the latest increase, with milk fats easing on the previous event.”
“This is likely due to Northern Hemisphere production being at a seasonally low point in the year, and milk supplies continuing to wane from Southern Hemisphere countries, with New Zealand starting to ease back on the previous year’s supplies too,” Gibson said.
Rennet casein climbed 5.6% to US$7668 a tonne, while skim milk powder rallied 3.3% to US$3017 a tonne.
Cheddar gained 2.5% to US$3701 a tonne, while lactose rose 1.3% to US$775 a tonne.
Meanwhile, anhydrous milk fat declined 1.5% to US$5108 a tonne, while butter slid 1.3% to US$4061 a tonne.
“Leading into this event, there was more milk fat product on offer, with softening prices likely due to some lifts in volumes sold,” according to Gibson.
Butter milk powder was not offered at this event.
For sweet whey powder, no product was offered or sold, and no price has been published for the last three auctions.
The New Zealand dollar last traded at 64.27 US cents as of 1.21pm in New York, compared with 63.98 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.
There were 134 winning bidders out of 187 participating at the 17-round auction. The number of registered bidders was 514, up from 511 at the previous auction.