21 Dec 2011

Dairy auction prices down

6:49 pm on 21 December 2011

Dairy prices edged down at Fonterra's latest online auction.

The global dairy trade-weighted price index declined 1.6% to an average selling price of $US3688 per metric tonne.

Earlier this month, Fonterra lifted its forecast payout to between $US6.90 - $US7 per kg of milk solids for the current season, citing a modest improvement in auction dairy product prices.

BNZ economist Doug Steel says dairy prices have been bobbing around at relatively elevated levels in recent months, so the fall doesn't mean too much.

He says when there's a stronger Greenback there tends to be a downward influence on dairy prices and the result reflects the changing value of the Greenback rather than the changing value of dairy prices.

The fall followed modest rises in the last two auctions, with declines in whole milk and skim milk powder offseting prices in anhydrous milk fat and cheddar.

Butter milk powder, milk protein concentrate, and rennet cassein prices also fell.