Dairy product prices have declined at the Global Dairy Trade auction, sliding for the first time this year after three consecutive increases.
The GDT price index eased 0.5 per cent on Wednesday morning from the previous auction two weeks ago. The average price was $US3623 ($NZ5,072) a tonne. Some 20,256 tonnes of product was sold, down from 22,197 tonnes two weeks ago.
Whole milk powder eked out a 0.3 per cent gain to $US3246 a tonne.
"Even though the whole milk powder result was not strong this time around, the average WMP price is 8 per cent higher than it was a month ago," Amy Castleton, AgriHQ dairy analyst, said in a note.
Skim milk powder fell 3 per cent to $US1832 a tonne, while anhydrous milk fat declined 1.9 per cent to $US6458 a tonne.
"Skim milk powder prices remain under pressure from high stock levels in both Europe and the US and thus strong competition from these regions," Ms Castleton said.
Cheddar slid 1.3 per cent to $US3686 a tonne.
Meanwhile, rennet casein gained 0.7 per cent to $US4980 a tonne, while butter rose 1.1 percent to $US5334 a tonne.
"Demand for the commodity has been keeping anhydrous milk fat prices high, but AMF has been overpriced relative to butter on a milkfat content basis for quite some time," Ms Castleton said.
"The fall in AMF prices and lift in butter prices now has the stream returns for the two commodities relatively aligned."
No prices were available for lactose and butter milk powder was not offered.
The New Zealand dollar last traded at US73.60 US cents as of 12.13pm in New York, compared with US73.72c at the previous close in Wellington.
There were 114 winning bidders out of 152 participating at the 14-round auction. The number of registered bidders rose to 527, up from 524 at the previous auction.