World wholesale prices

Updated 14 February 2024

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.


Globally, average prices for butter and WMP increased by 2.8% and 2.1% respectively in January, compared to the previous month. In contrast, cheddar cheese was down 2.4% month on month. SMP saw a slight price decline of 0.4% from December to January.


January brought a mixed picture for dairy wholesale prices in the EU. SMP prices saw significant (-3.3%) decline on the month, whilst butter and WMP dropped marginally. On the contrary, average cheese and whey prices saw slight increases. European milk production is climbing steadily, as seasonally expected, however is back compared to last year.

Reports suggest that butter buyers have secured product for Q1 and are now beginning to cautiously scope supplies for the remainder of the year, however firm commitments are yet to materialise. Powders (WMP and SMP) were both down in price, with quiet market conditions due to weak demand. The average cheese price was only slightly (0.1%) up on the month.


All products saw month on month price increases in Oceania in January. For butter and WMP, these increases were considerable (10.3% and 4.5% respectively), whereas in SMP and Cheddar they were more marginal. Butter prices were supported by good prices on the GDT and strong export volumes tightening supply in this period of seasonally low production. SMP and WMP both increased in price with reports suggesting steady to low production in Oceania. Cheese volumes traded on the GDT reduced whilst prices increased slightly.


In the US, we saw prices increases for powders (SMP and WMP), whilst butter stayed flat, and cheddar cheese declined considerably compared to the previous month. Reports suggest steady retail demand for butter with sufficient cream inventory available to meet current demand. Production schedules for WMP are limited and inventories are tight, with processors focussing on contracts and consequentially spot availability is low. SMP prices have been supported by some export demand into Mexico and Central America. Strong milk volumes are available for cheese processing, with retail contacts noting that American-style cheese orders were higher than expected for late January.

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World wholesale prices

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