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EU intervention stocks

Updated 30 September 2019

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.


  • Typically, 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.
  • Due to the high stock levels in 2018, the Commission implemented a temporary change to the fixed buying-in price for SMP, reducing it to zero for the 2018 and 2019 buying in windows (1 March - 30 September). 
  • PSA is available for butter, cheese and skim milk powder. There have not been any PSA schemes available for dairy products since 2017

Intervention buying

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. 

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EU intervention stocks