EU dairy product availability developments

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

By Patty Clayton

Raw milk supplies in the EU have seen limited growth so far in 2019. The total volume of milk deliveries in the 12-months to May 2019 was 0.2% higher, and 0.5% higher in terms of solids. The impact on availability of dairy products (1) however has varied.

  • Supplies of butter and cheese have remained relatively stable
  • Availability of milk powders impacted by trade flows
  • Supplies of WMP have increased
  • SMP availability has tightened

Change in available supplies (12-month total vs previous year)

Available supplies of butter are up only marginally on last year (+1%), despite rising production volumes. With EU prices now competitive on global markets, there has been good export growth, which is keeping availability in the EU level with last year.

Cheese availability also saw little change through the period, with the key EU producing regions maintaining production. Exports saw some growth in the period, which, combined with stable import levels, meant available supplies fell marginally (-1%).

Production volumes of SMP were down year on year, probably in light of low market prices, but also due to the availability of stocks from intervention stores. Competitive pricing on global markets meant EU exports grew throughout the year, reducing availability of fresh SMP on the EU market. In total, over the 12 months to May 2019, available supplies were 21% lower than year earlier levels. In reality, there may not be as large a shortage as this suggests, as it is not known how much of the product purchased from intervention remains in private stores.

The availability of WMP increased marginally, driven by trade flows. Although production within the EU fell, higher imports and a drop in exports meant there was 9% more product available to the market in the year compared to the previous 12 month period.

Additional information

(1) Available supplies are equal to production + imports – exports. Changes in availability are measured using a 12-month rolling total to account for seasonal variations in production.

Patty Clayton

Lead Analyst - Dairy

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