World wholesale prices

Updated 13 May 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.


In April, prices on global dairy markets continued to firm across all regions. Fat markets continued to strengthen, with butter and cheese both seeing price increases on the month. Generally, prices were particularly firm at the beginning of the month following price increases at the GDT auction, although held relatively steady for the rest of the month.


EU markets continued to firm through April. Milk deliveries are suggested to have increased in Germany, although remain below last years levels in other key producing nations. Tighter milk supplies have supported elevated prices in recent months. Lockdown restrictions in some countries continue to impact foodservice demand which could limit price increases. However, export demand remains strong, and the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in other EU nations seems to be supporting pricing.


Most markets also strengthened in Oceania, despite prices remaining comparatively high against other regions. Cheddar and butter enjoyed marginal price increases on the month, with strong Asian demand and seasonal declines in production supporting price levels. Demand for milk powders is also strong, with buyers reportedly holding higher stocks due to disruptions to shipping schedules.


Price movements in the US were particularly strong for April, with large increases in monthly averages for all products. Butter prices continued to strengthen, lifting 12% on the previous month. Cheddar also saw notable increases, up 7% on March. This follows an increase in foodservice demand seen at the start of the month, as COVID-19 restrictions are eased across the country.

WMP also lifted on the month, closing the gap between domestic and global prices, although prices remain competitive on the global market. A tight supply in some areas of the country is reported to be driving this increase, with demand holding steady.

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World wholesale prices