4 Oct 2017

Dairy auction prices at six-month low

12:13 pm on 4 October 2017

Prices fell in the global dairy auction to their lowest average in six months.

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Butter and whole milk powder prices dropped. Photo: 123rf

The average price dropped by 2.4 percent in the fortnightly auction to $US3223 a tonne.

Butter and whole milk powder prices also dropped.

Whole milk powder, which helps determine the payout to farmers, fell by 2.7 percent to $US3037 a tonne, going against expectations it would lift.

Butter nudged back by 3.6 percent from its record high to $US5837 a tonne.

Overall volumes of product sold were up 11 percent to 37,990 tonnes.

AgriHQ analyst Amy Castleton said the market had anticipated a 5.8 percent lift in the price of whole milk powder for shipping in December.

Ms Castleton said volumes of whole milk powder were at a seasonal peak with 20,980 tonnes available.

"Nearly all of this product was sold, but buyers were not willing to pay more for it.

"Volumes have not changed much despite the poor start to the New Zealand milk production season, which may have given buyers the confidence they will not have to compete too hard to secure product."

The falls follow two small rises in September, and despite the price changes, most dairy companies are forecasting payouts of $6.40 or more for this season.