After a series of strong performances late last year and early this year, the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) index has now seen its fifth decrease in a row after the latest event today (Tuesday, May 17).

Today’s GDT auction – event 308 – did not see such a sharp drop as the last event on May 3 (when the index fell by 8.5%). However, it did record a decline of 2.9% this time out.

This reflects an average price of $4,432/MT of product sold.

100 winning bidders emerged from 159 participating, across 16 bidding rounds.

The event lasted two hours and 13 minutes, and saw 24,285MT of product sold.

In terms of sub-indices for the products offered at this event, the largest decrease was recorded for whole milk powder (WMP), which fell by 4.9% to $3,934/MT.

Butter fell by 1% to $5,750/MT, while skim milk powder (SMP) and cheddar both recorded decreases of less than 1%. SMP went down by 0.6% to $4,116/MT, and cheddar fell by 0.1% to $5,635/MT.

The only increase in sub-index was for anhydrous milk fat (AMF), which saw a slight increase of 0.6% to $6,043/MT.

Butter milk powder (BMP) was not offered at this event, and there were no figures available for lactose and – as is typical – sweet whey powder (SWP).

As of today’s event, the GDT index figure now stands at 1,340, the lowest figure since January 4, this year.

Despite the decreases in the GDT over the last couple of months, the price paid to Irish dairy farmers for their milk remains at an all-time high.

Yesterday, Kerry Group announced an increase to its base milk price for supplies in the month of April.

The processor confirmed that it will pay a base price of 49.5c/L, including VAT. This reflects an increase in price of 3c/L.

Kerry’s price announcement follows on from Lakeland Dairies and Glanbia, both of which announced their prices for April milk last week.

Last Tuesday, the board of Lakeland announced its price, deciding to up its offering by 3c/L to 50.1c/L including VAT in the Republic of Ireland. For Northern Ireland, Lakeland announced an increase of 2.5p/L to 40p/L.

On Thursday of last week, Glanbia announced its price, saying that it would pay its suppliers a total of 50.08c/L, including VAT.

This price includes a base price of 46.58c/L; the Sustainability Action Payment of 0.5c/L; and a new 3c/L Agri-Input Support Payment on all milk supplied in April.