Dairy product prices have slipped at Fonterra's Global Dairy Trade auction, with an unexpected decline in the price of whole milk powder.
The GDT price index on Wednesday morning (NZT) dropped 3.9 per cent from the previous auction two weeks ago and the average price fell to $US2969 ($NZ4157). Some 29,592 tonnes of product was sold, marginally higher from 29,514 tonnes two weeks ago.
Whole milk powder fell 2.5 per cent to $US2755 a tonne.
On Tuesday, a report by the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand showed production rose 3.4 per cent in November when measured in terms of milk solids.
That may have contributed to buyer apathy, Amy Castleton, AgriHQ dairy analyst, says.
"The more informed international buyers would be aware that New Zealand typically has surplus pasture during November.
"Therefore the impact of the dry conditions will only start to be reflected in milk volumes from December on as this is when the quantity and the quality of the pasture available generally started to fall."
At the final GDT auction of the year, cheddar sank 7.9 per cent to $US3389 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat shed 6.7 per cent to $US6392 a tonne.
Rennet casein dropped 6.3 per cent to $US4506 a tonne, while skim milk powder declined 4.8 per cent to $US1675 a tonne, and butter gave up 2.3 per cent to $US4474 a tonne.
No prices were available for lactose. Butter milk powder was not offered at the event.
There were 139 winning bidders out of 167 participating at the 13-round auction. The number of qualified bidders fell to 509, down from 563 at the previous auction.