Global Dairy Trade (GDT) has said that $2.5 billion worth of dairy products was traded during its auctions in 2021.
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In its annual report, GDT noted that Covid-19 continued to affect countries worldwide last year but the trading platform remained fully operational.

Over the 12-month period, 626,747MT of dairy products were traded in GDT events. There were 304 unique bidders from 70 countries; 273 of those were winning bidders.

Milk powders accounted for 79% of products traded, with anhydrous milk fat (AMF), butter and cheddar representing 19% of sales.

Whole milk powder (WMP) hit a seven-year high in March 2021 at $4,347/MT.

During the course of the year, the average price for AMF gained 43%, butter increased by 35%, skim milk powder (SMP) was up 22% and WMP rose 29%.

Cheddar was up by 15% – it hit an all time high of $5,368/MT last November. The average price of lactose was 12% higher than 2020.

Currently, the GDT price index is at levels not seen since 2013. Following the last auction on February 15, the index stood at 1,515.

GDT ownership

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Fonterra has agreed a strategic partnership with New Zealand’s Exchange (NZX) and the European Energy Exchange (EEX) to each take ownership stakes in GDT alongside the co-op.

It would mean that Fonterra, NZX and EEX would each holding an equal one-third shareholding in the platform.

The deal is expected to be completed by the middle of this year if it is given the green light by the various boards and clearance from European and other relevant competition law authorities.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell said that “the move to a broader ownership structure marks the next step in the evolution of GDT”.

“This is good news for our farmer owners, unit holders, and all dairy industry participants and is expected to lead to greater volumes being traded on GDT.

“It will bring more participants and transactions, stimulating further growth of risk management contracts available on financial trading platforms,” Hurrell stated.

As one generation of dairy farmers see retirement on the horizon, who are the next generation farmers taking over the responsibility of feeding the world?

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