World wholesale prices

Updated 21 November 2023

This price series looks at the average wholesale prices of certain dairy products from the EU, Oceania and the US. It aims to provide an overview of global wholesale price movements which can affect prices closer to home.


Butter prices saw a significant uplift on the global dairy markets in October, with the average price up nearly 10% on last month. Rises were also seen in both SMP and WMP prices across the globe, potentially an indication of suppliers looking to secure stocks in advance of uncertainty in milk production volumes over the coming months. Cheese, on the other hand saw price drops on the global market.


In the EU all products saw prices increases in October, which may signal the beginning of a much-needed period of recovery. Milk production is declining, as we expect at this time of year, which slows milk supplies into processors. Alongside this we see increased demand for butter and tightening inventory of powders, which has supported prices across the board. For more detail, see our EU wholesale page.


In Oceania, prices for butter and powders have lifted since September. Reports suggest that butter production is steady, with strong demand from both domestic and export markets. The cheddar price dropped further, now at its lowest price point since the end of 2020. According to industry reports there are some surplus stocks with supply exceeding contracted needs, alongside which domestic demand for cheese appears to have eased in October. Both factors will have contributed to weakened prices.


In the US prices increased on the month for butter and powders, but cheese is down. Butter demand across both retail and food service is driven by the US holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas which will keep pressure on supply, supporting prices. Reports state that cheese inventories are comfortable across the regions however some processors, especially those in the East, are operating below capacity due to labour shortages. In powders, contracts remain steady, but reports suggest an increase in spot market demand which may increase pressure on inventories and pricing.

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World wholesale prices

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