EU Wholesale Prices

Published 13 March 19

Price movements were mixed on EU wholesale markets during February. SMP and WMP both firmed on the month, while butter, cheese and whey all declined marginally.

In terms of milk supplies, EU milk deliveries in December tracked 0.8% below the same month in the previous year. Deliveries in Germany, France and the Netherlands were all down in December, and while the UK and Ireland recorded growth in production, it was not sufficient to compensate for the declines elsewhere.

The EU butter market was relatively stable during February, with average prices remaining flat compared to the previous month. However prices slipped week-by-week, with a more significant drop in the middle of the month.  Stable retail demand and limited activity from buyers, reportedly hesitant about future commitment, has likely contributed to the lack of market direction. With the premium of the EU market over Oceania prices narrowing, there was some signs of increased export interest.

The SMP market, while recording further increases in prices, has slowed considerably compared to the larger gains seen earlier on in the season. With many buyers covered for Q1 already, internal EU demand is geared towards Q2 with expectations of some downward pressure on prices through the peak. Strong buying interest from outside of the EU has likely also supported prices.  WMP market was also described as relatively calm, with demand to meet short term needs firming prices. However, price rise remain constrained by a lack of interest on the export market due to the EU premium over Oceania prices.

On average, cheese prices declined marginally over the course of the month. However price movements diverged by product type, with Cheddar prices remaining steady, while Edam and Gouda both declined marginally. Emmental prices, after slipping early in the month, continued to yo-yo over the remainder of the month, leaving prices down by 6% down overall from January.

 EU Wholesale Table

Please see text above and notes below.

EU_wholesale _graph

Please note that prices can vary markedly within each market sector: the prices above are intended to give a guide to trends in price changes, but the absolute values experienced in the market place may differ from those shown.