World wholesale prices

Updated 07 April 2021

This price series looks at the average wholesale prices of certain dairy products from the EU, Oceania and the US. It aims to provide an overview of global wholesale price movements which can affect prices closer to home.


The positive trend in global dairy markets continued in March across all regions. Fats markets are particularly strong, with butter and WMP both recording sizeable monthly price increases. While prices settled following the early jump in pricing at the GDT auction at the beginning of the month, there were no significant price corrections, pushing up monthly averages in most cases.


EU markets remained firm through March. At a domestic level, slow growth in milk supplies has helped to keep supplies tight. However, new lockdown measures in some countries means foodservice demand is still low and this will have slowed down price rises through the month. Export demand was reported to be strong, and the EU has competitive pricing at a global level, but issues with shipping will have hampered shipments, and possibly limited price increases.


Despite comparatively high prices for products coming out of Oceania, prices recorded strong increases between February and March. This will partly be due to the early in the month, brought about by seasonally limited supplies and strong demand from its main export markets. , although only marginally. Cheese prices firmed in March, but rises were limited by good availability and lower prices for EU or US sourced product.


Price movements in the US were mixed across products. Little change was seen in monthly averages for SMP or Cheddar, as seasonally rising milk deliveries balanced off higher export and foodservice demand. WMP demand was reported to be facing tight supplies, and with attractive pricing at a global level, competition for supplies has pushed up prices.

Butter prices saw the largest increase, rising by 17% on average in March. Seasonally high retail demand, along with good export demand, have pulled up prices throughout the month. Easing restrictions across the country also served to bolster prices as demand from the foodservice sector grew through the month.

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World wholesale prices