UPDATE 1-Dairy prices fall, volumes drop at auction

Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:41am EDT

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March 18 (Reuters) - International milk prices dropped in a third consecutive auction held by New Zealand's Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter, while volumes also fell.

Fonterra's GDT Price Index, formerly the Global Dairy Trade-Trade Weighted Index, dropped 5.2 percent, with an average selling price of $4,563 per tonne, in the auction held on Tuesday.

The decline followed a 4 percent fall at the previous sale, said Fonterra, which is known for brands such as Anchor, Anlene and Fresh n' Fruity.

A total of 39,008 tonnes was sold, down 5.1 percent from the previous auction, the co-operative said on its website (www.globaldairytrade.info).

The auctions are held twice a month, with the next one scheduled for April 1.

The auction results can affect the New Zealand dollar , because the dairy sector generates more than 7 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Fonterra, which is owned by about 10,500 farmers, controls nearly a third of the world dairy trade. (Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; editing by Jane Baird)

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