Global dairy prices have risen sharply for the third auction in a row, with prices coming close to farmers' break-even range.
The average price in the Global Dairy Trade auction overnight rose 7.7 percent to $US2920 a tonne.
It followed two consecutive rises in the past month, with a 12.7 percent increase in prices at the most recent auction.
The important whole milk powder price rose 3.7 percent to $US2793 a tonne.
The dairy futures market had been expecting another solid rise and whole milk powder was now at its highest level since October last year.
Prices were not quite in the break-even range for farmers, who need about $3000 a tonne for whole milk powder.
Dairy co-operative Fonterra raised its forecast payout to farmers by 50 cents per kilogram of milks solids in August, taking the price to $4.75 for the current season.
Analysts expect dairy prices to recover, but have warned dairy was volatile and the road to recovery may not be smooth sailing.