8 Jan 2014

Drop in dairy prices at latest auction

1:02 pm on 8 January 2014

Dairy prices have fallen in Fonterra's first global auction of the year.

The Global Dairy Trade Price Index, which had nudged upwards in each of the final three sales of last year, dropped 0.8% in the overnight auction.

The average winning bid was US$4943 a tonne.

The price for skim milk powder dropped 3.4% and the benchmark whole milk powder price 0.6%. The price for butter, however, was 5.1% higher.

ANZ rural economist Con Williams said up to now prices have been high because of strong demand from China.

He said demand in China for imported milk was higher than normal in 2013 due to lower domestic production levels and if that changes prices could fall some way. That could occur in the second quarter when supply lifts in the northern hemisphere.