EU wholesale prices
Updated 4 June 2020
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 some sharp price drops in April, with the exception of cheese. Both SMP and butter prices saw large drops, although both whey powder and WMP prices also fell in the month. Markets are generally out of balance as demand was curtailed at the same time as Europe approached its seasonal peak in production. This, and uncertainty over when markets will recover, meant market sentiment was negative. However, the announcement by the Commission that PSA would be offered (as of 7 May) improved market sentiment in the latter part of the month.
Retail butter sales have slowed from the initial peak in late March, which combined with seasonally higher production, has seen butter prices fall week on week through April. High stocks, and limited buyer interest, for bulk butter also added pressure. Despite the lower prices, the EU is not the most competitive supplier to global markets, which could limit export sales.
Powder prices also recorded a decline in March. SMP recorded another substantial drop in pricing, although remained above intervention levels. Domestic demand for both SMP and WMP remains subdued given the slowdown in the manufacture of dairy products and the increasing availability. Export interest for SMP from SE Asia is reported to be picking up, and competitive EU pricing is reported to have led to increased interest from international buyers, which will have helped minimise downward price movements.
In contrast to other products, overall cheese prices only recorded a marginal price drop in the month. Emmental prices rose again during April, while prices for Cheddar, Edam and Gouda recorded further declines in the month, although these were limited. Demand from the retail sector is reported as strong, and appears to be offsetting most of the decline in foodservice demand.
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.