21 Jun 2017

Dairy prices drop for first time since March

6:31 am on 21 June 2017

Prices have dropped slightly in the global dairy auction overnight, in the first fall since early March.

Brighter Future - Dairy. Dairy farming family the Mathieson's, Ewen, Dianne and Melissa talk about the boom and bust of their industry since 2008 and how they got through some of the tougher times.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The average price fell 0.8 percent to $US3434 a tonne, while the key whole milk powder price - which determines the payout to dairy farmers - fell 3.3 percent to $US3022.

Today's overall fall followed a small 0.6 percent lift at the previous auction and five consecutive rises before that.

Prices around $US3000 still represent a level where most farmers can break even.

Dairy co-operative Fonterra is forecasting an opening payout for the new 2017/18 season of $6.50 a kilogram of milk solids, while the 2016/17 forecast of $6.15 will be finalised later in the year.

The GDT price index is still the highest it has been in about three years, with analysts picking milk prices to stay around the $6 level.

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