May 21, 2019 / 11:25 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Global dairy prices fall, ending record gaining streak

* Global dairy prices dip 1.2 pct

* Ends streak of 11 consecutive gains

* Outlook supported by strong China demand -analysts (Recasts; adds analyst comment)

By Charlotte Greenfield

WELLINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) - Global dairy prices slipped at a fortnightly auction held early on Wednesday, snapping a record gaining streak.

The GDT Price Index dipped 1.2 percent, with an average selling price of $3,414 per tonne. The index had risen 0.4 percent at the previous sale, gaining for the eleventh time in a row.

Whole milk powder, the most widely traded item, fell 2.1 percent, largely as supply from the Northern Hemisphere ramped up. But analysts said the outlook remained relatively strong due to robust demand from Asia.

“Demand from China looks to have remained reasonably firm over the last month,” Westpac economists said in a research note. “Ongoing firm demand from China will be key in determining whether dairy prices are able to remain near these levels”.

Prices have been rising due to weak supply from New Zealand, combined with strong demand, particularly from Asia.

The Global Dairy Trade auction is operated by U.S.-listed CRA International Inc. GDT Events is owned by New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, which controls nearly a third of the world dairy trade, but operates independently from the dairy giant.

A total of 15,510 tonnes was sold at the latest auction, up 0.9 percent from the previous sale, the auction platform said on its website.

The auction results can affect the New Zealand dollar as the dairy sector generates more than 7 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

The currency was largely flat on Wednesday, trading just above $0.6500 and lingering near seven-month lows, largely on the back of global trade concerns and this month’s central bank rate cut.

A number of companies, including Dairy America and Murray Goulburn, use the platform to sell milk powder and other dairy products.

The auctions are held twice a month, with the next one scheduled for June 4. (Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; editing by Richard Pullin)

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