Prices at Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade auction slumped 8.9% at the latest sale, continuing the downward slide since February.
The average winning price on 1 April was $4,124 (£2,479), the lowest level since February 2013. The amount of product sold rose slightly to 39,653t.
In the past three fortnightly auctions the price index fell 1.2%, 4% and 5.2% in succession.
All products apart from rennet casein saw prices drop, with butter milk powder, anhydrous milk fat and butter showing the biggest drop.
AHDB dairy analyst Luke Crossman said the decline was large but not surprising, as global wholesale prices were easing as well.
“There is plenty of milk around at the moment,” he said. “There are no signs of a dampening of the spring flush in the northern hemisphere. And New Zealand is strong going towards their trough.
“Demand has been a bit reduced in China. Quite a few Chinese buyers bought quite heavily at the turn of the year and covered their short-term – if not medium-term – requirements.”
Mr Crossman said strong competition for milk among processors was keeping UK prices stable for the moment.
“[Arla’s] price is linked to the world market, but there is an element of what the co-op wants to do.
“They could keep prices high in the foreseeable future until they decide they have filled their milk pool. But if wholesale prices begin to fall even more it is going to put pressure on them to reduce too.”
See also: Global Dairy Trade price tumbles 5.2%
Individual product results were:
• Butter sold at a weighted average price of $4,040/t (£2,428) and the index was down 11%
• Cheddar sold at a weighted average price of $4,438/t (£2,668) and the index was down 3.5%
• Anhydrous milk fat sold at a weighted average price of $4,062/t (£2,442) and the index was down 11.3%
• Butter milk powder sold at a weighted average price of $4,211/t (£2,531) and the index was down 15%
• Skim milk powder sold at a weighted average price of $4,126/t (£2,480) and the index was down 9.6%
• Whole milk powder sold at a weighted average price of $4,033/t (£2,424) and the index was down 8.4%
• Milk protein concentrate sold at a weighted average price of $8,436/t (£5,071) and the index was down 4.3%
• Rennet casein sold at a weighted average price of $11,105/t (£6,675) and the index was up 5.5%
• No lactose was offered
GDT – owned by New Zealand co-op Fonterra – holds two online auctions each month, with dairies from Europe, India, the USA, New Zealand and Australia selling commodities to buyers from more than 90 countries.
Arla started selling British skimmed milk powder from Westbury at the auction in December.