The latest round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement enter their final day in Auckland on Friday.
But New Zealand negotiators report the groundwork for talks on access to dairy markets is still to be completed, meaning no offers for tariff reductions from countries like the United States have yet been tabled.
Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent says that is despite nearly a year of negotiations.
There is less than a year to go before a deal is due to be wrapped up.
Chief negotiator Mark Sinclair says market access issues will be discussed at the next round of negotiations in Chile in six weeks.
Dairy cooperative Fonterra says it is satisfied that negotiators are doing all they can to move the issue along.