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EU intervention stocks

Updated 03 June 2020

Intervention and Private Storage Aid (PSA) are key parts of the European Commission’s market support programme. Intervention is used to stabilise the market by purchasing surplus supplies, which are then stored. Intervention stocks are then sold through public tenders when market prices increase. PSA provides support payments for storage due to the seasonal nature of dairy production. It helps to stabilise the market for a product in the event of a surplus, and is available at the discretion of the Commission.


  • The Intervention scheme allows the European Commission to buy in 50,000 tonnes of butter and 109,000 tonnes of SMP between 1 March and 30 September each year, at a fixed buying in price of €2,217/tonne and €1,698/tonne respectively.
  • Intervention for butter and SMP is open for 2020 until 30 September.
  • PSA is available for butter, cheese and skim milk powder. PSA has not been available for dairy products since 2017, but was been re-opened in May 2020 in response to the market disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Private Storage Aid offers

In the week commencing 25 May, applications for PSA were as follows:

  • 5,784 tonnes of butter, including 207 tonnes from the UK. The Netherlands, Ireland and Germany account for the majority of applications.
  • 989 tonnes of skim milk powder. Germany accounts for 42% of applications.
  • 2,465 tonnes of cheese. 40% of the total volumes have been utilised, predominantly from Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK

Quantities offered into PSA have been declining each week as pricing improves.

Intervention buying

In the week commencing 11 May 2020, 115 tonnes of skim milk powder was offered to public interevention from the Czech Republic.  

This is the first use of public intervention since it opened on 1 March 2020.

Intervention sales

The European Commission began to offer SMP intervention stock up for sale from December 2016, via a tendering process. As of the tender on 18 June tender, all available supplies had been sold.