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Milk Powder Prices Fall to Three Month Low in Fonterra Auction

Whole-milk powder prices fell for a fourth straight auction to the lowest in three months, said Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd.

Powder for February delivery fell 1 percent, according to a trade-weighted index on the company’s GlobalDairyTrade website. The near-term contract for New Zealand product fell to $3,126 a metric ton, the lowest price since Sept. 18.

Milk prices are falling as new season output from New Zealand and other southern hemisphere producers enters the market. Prices remain 23 percent higher than in mid-July after the worst U.S. drought in 56 years curbed supply. Fonterra last week raised its forecast payment to farmers, saying it expects higher global dairy prices in the first half of 2013.

The Auckland-based company, which accounts for about 40 percent of the global trade in dairy products, sells whole, skim and butter-milk powder, dried-milk fat, lactose, cheese and casein at its GlobalDairyTrade auctions. It offers monthly contracts with delivery starting from two months after the sale. Casein is a protein found in milk.

Whole-milk powder for March delivery was unchanged while prices across all five product contracts out to June fell 0.6 percent, Fonterra said.

In other auctions, prices for February delivery of skim and butter milk powder also fell. Milk protein concentrate, cheddar, milk fat and casein prices rose. Lactose wasn’t offered in the sale.

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