Lower exports improve EU dairy product availability in 2022

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

EU dairy product availability improved overall in 2022 compared to 2021. Available supplies1 of butter and milk powders increased year on year (yoy) whilst cheese availability remained stable. With milk production in the EU not expected to grow through 2023, whether there is a build-up of dairy product stocks will be highly dependent on how domestic and export demand progress through the year.

The increase in available butter supplies in 2022 resulted primarily from an increase in imports, although the drop in export volumes will have also helped to bolster availability. Production volumes were roughly unchanged, impacted by the limited availability of milk. The increase in milk prices and favourable weather in the autumn saw EU milk production recover in the latter part of 2022. This helped to support the increase in butter production that was recorded through Q4.

No change was seen in overall cheese supplies in 2022. While there was a drop in production and imports compared to the previous year, the relatively larger drop in export volumes meant overall availability remained balanced.

Availability of SMP increased by 17.5% yoy in 2022. Production was up on the year by 3%, although volumes were still relatively low compared to typical levels. Combined with the 10% drop in exports, overall availability of SMP increased compared to 2021.

WMP also saw a yoy increase in availability, bolstered as a result of the large decrease in exports (-19%). While production fell in the year by 8% due to tight milk supplies and high processing costs, the drop in export shipments and slight increase to imports meant overall supplies were higher on the year.

1Available supplies = production + imports - exports

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