Dairy cows© Tim Scrivener

Dairy market sentiment continues to improve with a 3.5% jump in the latest (6 December) Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction.

The index for Fonterra’s online dairy commodity auction is at its highest level since 4 June 2014, 50.1% higher than this time 12 months ago, averaging at US$3,622/t (£2,840/t).

See also: Challenging short-term future for dairy industry

Whole milk powder and skim milk powder, which were the most traded commodities at the auction, built on their impressive recent rises, increasing 4.9% and 1.4% respectively.

Lactose registered the greatest percentage price increase, up 10.6% to average US$873/t (£684.40/t) and 61% up on the year. However, this is only traded in relatively small volumes.

Buttermilk powder was the auction’s only drop, down 2.6% to US$2,408/t (£1,887.9/t), but remained 54% higher than this time last year.

 

The rise now means the auction index has gone up in eight of the past nine sales, an increase of 46.4% since 2 August 2016.

The New Zealand dollar took a knock this week following the shock resignation of prime minister John Key, but will be bolstered by the continued strong performance of whole milk powder, the country’s key commodity export.