16 Jun 2016

Dairy prices flat, but whole-milk powder falls

7:47 am on 16 June 2016

Prices have held steady in the global dairy auction overnight, but there was a drop in the important whole-milk powder price.

Dairy cows in a milking shed in New Zealand.

Photo: 123RF

The average price was unchanged at $US2339 a tonne, after a 3.4 percent rise at the previous auction.

The whole-milk powder price fell 4.5 percent to $US2118 dollars a tonne

But there were rises for most other products sold, although volumes sold were lower.

The overall index is at its best level of the year but prices remain well below the break-even range for farmers, who need about $3000 a tonne.

Fonterra and market commentators expected only a gradual improvement in prices this year because of an oversupply on world markets.

Agri HQ analyst Susan Kilsby said things were unlikely to improve any time soon.

"While there's plenty of product available, both here in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world, it doesn't look like we'll see much of a lift in dairy commodity prices in the current calendar year. looking through into 2017, that's where we're really picking the lift to come, rather than any earlier than that."

She said the mood among farmers at the National Agricultural Fieldays in Hamilton was very sombre.

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