Dairy product prices rise 0.2 percent in GDT auction; casein hits record, WMP falls

Dairy product prices held at elevated levels in the last GlobalDairyTrade auction for 2013, with rennet casein rising to its second straight record while whole milk powder fell.

The GDT Price Index rose 0.2 percent compared to the last sale two weeks ago. The average winning price was US$4,990 a tonne compared to US$4,973 a tonne.

The average winning price of rennet casein, a functional ingredient used in everything from sliced cheeses to products that can be whipped or foamed, rose 7.3 percent to US$11,770 a tonne, adding to an 18.9 percent surge a fortnight ago. Cheddar rose 1 percent to US$4,569 a tonne.

Whole milk powder, the biggest product by volume, fell 1.5 percent to US$4,958 a tonne and skim milk powder rose 1.7 percent to US$4,868 a tonne.

The auction is the first since Fonterra Cooperative Group unexpectedly kept its forecast farmgate milk payout for 2014 unchanged while slashing its dividend, citing the growing gap in prices between the milk powders used to set the farmgate price and the value of product from its cheese and casein related production 'streams'.

The total volume of dairy products sold at the latest GDT auction fell to 47,858 tonnes from 51,944 tonnes in the previous auction.

The price of anhydrous milk fat rose 4.4 percent to US$5,668 a tonne and butter rose 7.9 percent to US$4,051 a tonne. Butter milk powder gained 2.2 percent to US$5,070 a tonne.

Milk protein concentrate rose 3.9 percent to US$8,568 a tonne. Lactose wasn't offered.

There were 133 winning bidders over 16 rounds. There were 202 participating bidders out of a total number of qualified bidders of 823.
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