World wholesale prices

Updated 17 June

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.



EU wholesale markets started to see some recovery in May as some EU countries eased lockdown restrictions allowing foodservice demand a chance to increase. The impact on prices was mixed. 

  • Butter prices were lower on average in May than April, although they increased in the second half of the month. The return of foodservice demand, higher retail sales and the opening of PSA (Private Storage Aid) lent support to prices.
  • The price of SMP rose slightly in May after dropping sharply in April as buying interest is reported to be returning. PSA is also available for SMP but there has been fairly limited uptake compared to cheese and butter.
  • WMP prices fell in May with very little export demand. Domestic demand is described as calm with buyers heavily influenced by price.


  • Butter prices were down in May as most buyers were already covered. With prices considerably higher than EU-sourced butter, purchasing is reported to be shifting to Western Europe, reducing demand for Oceania product.
  • SMP prices fell in May with buyers in Asia currently not buying due to adequate stock levels. Competitive EU pricing is also limiting export opportunities.
  • WMP prices also fell due to high stock levels relative to demand.
  • Cheddar prices also fell as foodservice demand remains weak and stock levels remain above normal levels.


Wholesale prices were mixed in May, reacting to the variable demand for dairy products relative to stock levels.

  • May saw an increase in butter prices as demand began to increase from foodservice and remained strong in retail.
  • The WMP price was flat during May, with intermittent production aimed at meeting current obligations and little available stock for trading.
  • Higher milk volumes being directed towards SMP production put some downward pressure on the price of SMP.  
  • Cheddar prices moved lower despite reports of much increased demand. High production adding to already ample stock levels have kept the prices lower. 


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World wholesale prices