Dairy prices edge lower in NZ Fonterra's auction

WELLINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - International milk prices fell for the first time in two months, New Zealand's Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter, said on Wednesday.

Fonterra's Global Dairy Trade-Trade Weighted Index, which covers a range of 30 products and contract periods on offer, fell 0.9 percent, with an average selling price of $3,285 per tonne. It was the first fall in average prices since mid-July.

Dairy prices have shown signs of strengthening, partially driven by global weather events, including the drought in the United States.

At the latest auction, prices were mixed with gains for whole milk powder and butter milk powder, but falls for cheddar, skim milk powder, rennet casein, and anhydrous milk fat.

Full details of the auction are at:

Fonterra holds two auctions a month, with the next one due on Oct 16.

Last month, the co-operative said its final payout for the 2011/12 season by 19 percent to NZ$6.40 a kilo of milk solids, while confirming the current season forecast of NZ$5.65-NZ$5.75 largely because of a strong local currency. See

Fonterra is owned by about 10,500 farmers and controls around a third of the world's dairy exports, generating more than 7 percent of New Zealand's gross domestic product.

Dairy produce makes up more than a quarter of New Zealand's NZ$48 billion annual export earnings, and the currency is often sensitive to movements in prices.

(Reporting by Gyles Beckford)

((Gyles.Beckford@thomsonreuters.com)(+64 4 802 7980)(Reuters Messaging: gyles.beckford.reuters.com@reuters.net))