EU Wholesale Prices

Published 10 September 18

Overall, the EU wholesale market picked up in August with most products having positive month-on-month movement. This follows a slight softening in the market in July; many traders go on holiday in July and markets were quiet, but now they have returned trading has picked back up. Prices appear to have had some support from production concerns. Although the EU is still forecast to produce more milk in 2018 than in 2017, the hot dry summer and the effect it could have on winter feed costs, have dampened down expectations of the size of the increase.

Butter prices are still coming down from June’s high, with August down 1% on July. On a weekly basis, prices were lowest in the second week of August and have picked up since. This has been helped by stronger internal demand at the end of the summer holidays and a seasonally low time for production. Some sources expect prices to continue firming into September.

Powder prices were up this month, with SMP in particular up 3.9% on July. SMP prices are now at their highest of 2018, but are still behind year-ago figures. Production is relatively low as other products are prioritised, and many manufacturers have already committed what they are producing. WMP was up 1.4% on the previous month. Buying interest typically increases into the autumn, but some buyers will have looked to lock in supplies early, and uncertainty around future supply is encouraging others to secure contracts through the year. 

The average cheese price was up again, particularly driven by Gouda and Emmental prices, while cheddar was relatively stable. Growth in cheese supplies has been tightening: while monthly cheese production in the first half of 2018 was higher than in 2017, the year-on-year increase for each month has been getting smaller as the year progresses.

 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.