PRINTABLE VERSION   EMAIL TO A FRIEND   RSS FEEDS 16:39 UK, 18th Apr 2017, by William Clarke
Dairy prices bounce on ideas of waterlogged NZ pasture

Milk prices at the GlobalDairyTrade auction bounced back, as concerns about waterlogged pasture in New Zealand encouraged buying.

The GlobalDairyTrade index, which is based on prices at auctions held by New Zealand dairy cooperative, rose by 3.1% from the last even held two weeks ago, and is now at its highest level since mid-February.

Prices are being supported by ideas that a spate of hurricanes in New Zealand, the world's top dairy exporter, would reduce the availability of pasture and slow production.

Cyclone damage

"The market is eyeing very wet soils on New Zealand's North Island created by the heavy rain from Cyclones Debbie and Cook," said Tobin Gorey, at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"How much production is lost remains an open question," Mr Gorey said. "The market is priced like it will be a problem."

New Zealand's North Island was drenched by the remains on Cyclone Debbie two weeks ago, and has just received more wet weather from Hurricane Cook.

"The deluge of rain could slow grass growth and so dent lateseason milk production," Mr Gorey warned.

Skim-milk prices soar

Benchmark whole milk powder prices rose for the third straight session, up 3.5% from the last event, to their highest level since mid-February.

Skim milked powder prices bounced back by 7.1%, although much of this support will have come from the fact that prices fell sharply over the past three auctions, turning a heavy premium to EU prices to a deficit.

Cheddar and butter prices also rallied, while prices for rennet casein eased.

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