Dairy prices fall

THE average price fell 1.2 per cent to $US3632 a tonne. It was the third consecutive fall in prices, which are back to where they were in mid-January.

The price of whole milk powder, a key factor in setting returns to local farmers, was fractionally higher at $US3226 a tonne.

There were sharp falls in skim milk powder and cheese.

The volumes sold were down more than 3 per cent.

Rural analytical and research company AgriHQ said the price falls reflected that buyers at the previous auction now had the products they wanted.

It said the fall in milk production in New Zealand was probably helping to underpin the price of wholemilk powder.