Wholemilk powder prices dropped by 6.2 per cent at this morning's Global Dairy Trade auction - the first to be held since the escalation of coronavirus in China that has driven widespread volatilty in markets around the world.
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The first Global Dairy Trade auction since the escalation of the coronavirus in China was held this morning. Photo / File.

The price of wholemilk powder – which has the greatest bearing on Fonterra’s farmgate milk price – dropped to US$3039 a tonne – the lowest level since August last year.

Overall, the GDT price index fell by 4.7 per cent since the last sale on January 8.

Among the other Fonterra reference products, skim milk powder dropped in price by 4.2 per cent to US$2907 a tonne.

Butter milk powder fell by 5.2 per cent to US$2886/tonne and anhydrous milk fat fell by 4.5 per cent to US$4626/tonne.

Butter prices eked out a 0.2 per cent gain to US$4258 a tonne.

The non-reference products fared better – cheddar gained 6.0 per cent to US$4302/tonne, rennet casein rose by 6.0 per cent to US$9956/tonne and lactose firmed by 2.5 per cent to US$830 a tonne.

Coronavius has so far killed 427 people and infected 20,000 – mostly in China – driving down the price of oil and destabilising commodoties and sharemarkets around the globe.

Futures market pricing had suggested wholemilk powder – New Zealand’s biggest export – was in for a big shock this week’s auction.

Wholemilk powder prices had been firming since the middle of 2019, aside from a short pullback in December.

New Zealand’s biggest exporter, Fonterra, said last week that the outbreak had not affected its business, but that it was closely monitoring the situation in China.

Eleven organic dairy farms in Vermont closed in 2021. The next year, 18 more followed. And this year, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont expects to lose another 28 farms.

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