Dairy product prices have unexpectedly declined at Fonterra's GlobalDairyTrade auction, falling for the fifth time in eight auctions, amid confidence in ample supply.
The GDT price index fell 2.4 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago and the average price to $US3223 ($NZ4503) per tonne.
Some 37,990 tonnes of product was sold, up from 34,117 tonnes at the previous auction.
"The NZX Dairy Derivatives market had anticipated a strong lift in prices ..., particularly for whole milk powder, with plenty of trading activity occurring early this week," AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said.
"New Zealand milk production has had a slow start this season, and it appeared that the market was finally taking note of this. But this did not appear in auction results."
Whole milk powder fell 2.7 per cent to $US3037 a tonne.
"WMP offer volumes were at their seasonal peak at this event," Ms Kilsby noted. "Nearly all of this product was sold, but buyers were not willing to pay more for it."
"WMP offer 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."
At the latest auction, butter milk powder slumped 10.3 per cent to $US1804 a tonne, while butter slid 3.6 per cent to $US5837 a tonne.
Anhydrous milk fat fell 3.4 per cent to $US6504 a tonne, while skim milk powder decreased 1.4 per cent to $US1895 a tonne.
Bucking the trend, rennet casein rose 0.9 per cent to $US6123 a tonne, while cheddar declined 1.9 per cent to $US4109 a tonne.
No prices were available for lactose.