A spoonful of whole milk powder© Food and Drink/REX/Shutterstock

The Global Dairy Trade index, an indicator of market sentiment, increased for the fifth consecutive auction on Tuesday (16 May), climbing by 3.2%.

The rise took the New Zealand based online auction average price to $3,313/t (£2,559/t), equivalent to 26.4p/litre.

The index has grown 9.4% since the last fall on 7 March, taking it to its highest level for almost three years.

See also: UK adds to EU SMP stockpile for first time in 2017

Butter continued its strong performance, increasing by 11.2% to average $5,479/t (£4,232/t), reflecting growing global fat commodity prices.

There were also strong showings for anhydrous milk fat (AMF) and buttermilk powder, which increased by 8.2% and 9.0%, respectively.

Global shortages and high demand for milk fat products have continued to see prices rise, with no signs of them slowing down.  

Milk powders

The auction’s two most-traded commodities, whole milk powder (WMP) and skim milk powder (SMP) both made modest gains.

WMP defied predictions and edged up 1.3% to average $3,312/t (2,559/t), while SMP continued its recent yo-yoing, wiping out last fortnight’s 0.9% drop to finish 1.3% up, averaging $1,998/t (£1,543/t).

Despite the slight increase, SMP remains weak compared with other commodities and was 18.9% down in April 2017 compared with the start of the year at £1,500/t, according to AHDB Dairy.

Five auctions of strong demand and sustained index rises have boosted confidence in the dairy market and improved sentiment.