EU wholesale prices

Updated 13 October 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.

Monthly overview

EU milk production has been seasonally declining for some time now, and so milk availability is at relatively low levels. This is limiting production and tightening product supplies. This has driven a lift in EU wholesale prices across the board.

The September butter price rose 3.9% on August. With cream supplies tight and prices high, this in turn pushed up butter prices. Additionally, this limited butter production and some processors sold cream instead of turning it into butter. Reports suggest that at the start of the month the end of the summer holiday season lifted demand for packaged butter, but by the end of the month high wholesale prices were encouraging some buyers to hold off.

Skimmed milk powder (SMP) prices also rose. Strong exports in the first half of the year depleted stocks and now low milk supply means these aren’t being replenished, so availability is particularly tight. Additionally, demand is reportedly growing, mainly from within the EU – as shipping issues make exports difficult.

Supplies are also tight for whole milk powder (WMP). Export demand is quiet but there is good internal demand, and buyer interest was reportedly increasing in the latter half of the month. Processors are producing to meet orders and contracts, but not much is going into the spot market.

Cheese prices rose more modestly than butter and powders, averaging a 1% rise on the month. Edam, Gouda and Emmental were all up by 1.1%-1.4%, but Cheddar rose by only 0.2%.

Additional information

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.

As of 1 February 2020 the MMO 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.

Download dataset

EU wholesale prices

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