Closeup of cow being milked in a rotary parlour(c) Tim Scrivener

Dairy markets remain under pressure as farmers await next week’s news on the latest milk price changes.

Average prices on the fortnightly Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction dropped 3.1% on Tuesday (18 November), wiping out the stability of the past month.

Butter and cheese prices on the auction saw decent rises, but milk powders suffered, with skim prices dropping 5.7% and whole sliding 5.1%.

The GDT decline came despite supplies being a little tighter, as the total weight of products sold was down 13% to 39,613t – the lowest since mid July.

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DairyCo’s latest monthly wholesale report said prices remained subdued in October around the world, with the northern hemisphere entering its trough at higher levels than previous years and the south reaching its peak.

It said buyers were staying largely distant from the market, buying only to cover short-term needs.

Latest figures show New Zealand milk production in September totalled 2,673m litres – 5.2% more than the same month in 2013.

Irish production in the milk year so far is running 7.6% up on the year, though September production was only 5.1% higher.

In the UK, latest production figures show daily milk deliveries averaged 37.2m litres/day in the two weeks to 8 November.

This was 5.6% higher than last year and 10% up on the three-year average, but production has eased slightly on the previous fortnight.