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Whole-Milk Powder Surges to 14-Month High in Fonterra Auction

Whole-milk powder prices rose at a fourth successive auction, reaching the highest in more than 14 months, according to Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd.

Powder for April delivery rose 5.5 percent, according to a trade-weighted index on the company’s GlobalDairyTrade website. The near-term contract for New Zealand product rose to $3,639 a metric ton, the highest price since Dec. 6, 2011.

Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, in December raised its forecast payment to farmers, saying it expects higher global dairy prices in the first half of 2013. Prices have gained 16 percent this year and are 43 percent higher than in mid-July after U.S. drought conditions curbed supply.

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, butter, 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 May delivery rose 6.2% while prices across all five product contracts out to July rose 5.8 percent, Fonterra said.

In other auctions, prices for April delivery of milk fat, casein, cheddar, milk protein concentrate, skim and butter-milk powder also increased. Lactose and butter weren’t offered.

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