Rising prices boost EU cheese returns

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Significant increases in the EU wholesale prices for cheeses have in turn led to increases in the returns to processors, as shown by our EU MCVE measure. On average, the MCVE rose by 9ppl between July 2021 and January 2022 across our 6 reported countries (Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, France, and the UK).

graph of EU MCVE data from Jan 2018 to Jan 2022

France has had the biggest increase in MCVE, up 14.0ppl to 46.1ppl between July 2021 and Jan 2022. This has also shifted it from 5th place to 1st when compared to the other countries. France’s MCVE is based on the Emmental price, while the others are based on Gouda (Germany, Denmark, Netherlands) or Cheddar (UK, Ireland).

Meanwhile, Ireland has somewhat resisted the trend, increasing only 2.7ppl in the same period. This has significantly widened the gap between it and the other countries. In July 2021, Ireland was 2.4ppl behind the next-lowest country (France). By January 2022, the gap had increased to 10.7ppl between Ireland and the next-lowest country (Germany).

It should be noted that most of these figures do not account for the rising costs seen in 2021. The EU countries’ MCVE figures are still calculated using our 2020 costs. The UK MCVE indicator was updated in December to use Q3 2021 costs, but this still won’t cover all of the cost increases. These costs will have dampened processor returns compared to our calculations. However, we would still expect to see an upwards trend if costs were factored in.

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