World dairy prices fall 5.3pc

PRICES of dairy products fell for the third auction in a row, continuing to ease from April's record highs as volumes increase and the effects of drought wash out of the supply chain.

The GDT-TWI Price Index fell 5.3 per cent compared to the last sale two weeks ago. The average winning price fell to US$4,443 a tonne from US$4,549 a tonne. Whole milk powder, the biggest product by volume, fell 7.1 per cent to US$4,643 a tonne, the lowest since the March 5 auction.

Fonterra raised its forecast 2014 payout to farmers saying that even though the signs are that global dairy commodity prices have peaked they're expected to remain at elevated levels through 2013 and remain relatively strong in 2014.

The total volume of dairy products sold at the latest auction rose to 24,252 tonnes, the highest since the Feb. 19 auction. The volume shrank to a drought-affected 13,912 tonnes in the early April sale.

The price of anhydrous milk fat fell 4.3 per cent to US$4,478 a tonne and butter milk powder rose 3.3 per cent to US$4,410 a tonne.

Butter fell 2.6 per cent to US$3,743 a tonne.

Cheddar sold at an average US$4,877 a tonne. No results were given for lactose and milk protein concentrate and rennet casein weren't offered. Skim milk powder fell 3.2 per cent to US$4,164 a tonne.

There were 99 winning bidders over 10 rounds. There were 162 participating bidders out of a total number of qualified bidders of 825.