EU wholesale prices
Updated 10 February 2021
An overview of how the dairy markets are moving in the EU. Price series comparing average EU wholesale prices of butter, SMP, WMP and cheese. They are updated on a monthly basis.
As of 1 February 2020 the MMO has changed its data reporting to EU (excluding UK), including historic data back to January 2016. For historic EU-28 prices up to Dec 2019, please download the spreadsheet using the link below.
EU wholesale markets saw relatively good demand in January, which supported price increases for butter and powders. Meanwhile, cheese prices bucked this trend and were down on the month.
Butter prices rose through January, driven by strong demand. Buying interest was reported to be particularly good for packaged butter, as retail demand remains elevated amid coronavirus restrictions. A substantial rise in the Oceania butter price made the EU butter price comparatively competitive on the world markets, which in turn increased export demand. With expectations of further increases in pricing, and no increases in availability due to the time of year, buyers were said to be interested in closing deals sooner rather than later.
Prices also firmed through the month on the SMP market. On the demand side, there was increased buying from dealers with short term needs, as well as increased export demand. On the supply side, reports indicate that supplies were tightened by limited intake to dryers, which may be due to the higher skim concentrate prices seen this month. Additionally, some contracted buyers have reportedly had delivery schedules accelerated, contributing to supply tightness. Altogether this means that SMP prices were supported from both the supply and demand sides of the market.
There were some reports of WMP markets being calm, with buyers cautious. Despite this, WMP prices rose on the month. The increase in SMP and butter prices may have given some support to WMP prices, in order to keep the option of producing WMP competitive. Additionally, the EU price premium over Oceania WMP prices (in US$ terms) was the smallest for six months in January. This increased export interest, particularly from areas where the difference in shipping costs would make EU prices competitive.
In contrast to other products, cheese prices fell between December and January – both the average cheese price and the individual prices of the reported. Edam and Gouda have been trending downwards since early December, while Cheddar and Emmental have been variable.
Please note that prices can vary markedly within each market sector: the prices above are intended to give a guide to trends in price changes, but the absolute values experienced in the market place may differ from those shown.