World wholesale prices
Updated 7 September 2021
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.
Markets were mixed in August, with month on month price changes varying by product and region. Almost all prices remain substantially up on year-earlier levels, with the exception of US Cheddar, which had been supported by government purchasing in 2020.
EU dairy markets were relatively quiet for most of August, in line with the usual summer holiday season. Markets did pick up towards the end of the month as this period came to a close. In euro terms, butter and powder prices were steady to slightly down on July, while cheese prices bucked the trend and increased. For more detail see our EU wholesale prices page.
Oceania saw the strongest price swings of the three regions. Butter rose 3.5%, driven by a strong GDT performance at the mid-month event, where bidder activity was strong. In contrast, SMP and WMP prices fell by 5.4% and 7.0% respectively. This was mainly due to a weak start to the month, with buyers waiting to see how new season milk production developed; prices did improve a bit through the month. Oceania WMP prices are now below the EU price for the first time since January, in US dollar terms. Cheese prices were steady in comparison, down just 0.6%, with supply and demand reported to be relatively balanced.
US markets were also variable, though not as much as Oceania. Butter prices fell 2.3%. While cream availability and production were reported to be variable across the country, inventories were healthy. SMP was fairly steady for most of August with a jump at the end from a flurry of export demand. WMP was even steadier, with slow trading activity. Cheese market tones were variable, reflecting the inconsistency of easing restrictions across different states.
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