World Wholesale Report

Published 8 May 19

World wholesale markets were mixed during April. Whole milk powder and cheddar cheese prices were up but butter and skim milk powder prices were variable across the key regions. Oceania is heading towards seasonal lows in production while the northern hemisphere is nearing its flush, affecting relative availability.

In the EU, with milk production working towards its seasonal high, some buyers were waiting to assess the supply situation before committing to deals. This reduced immediate interest, adding downwards pressure to the butter and SMP markets. Additionally, SMP stocks were reported to be more than ample for current demand, with many commercial butter buyers already well covered. WMP prices were supported by an increase at the low end of the price range with short-term demand reported to be firm.

Supplies in Oceania were tightening as New Zealand production moved towards seasonal lows; Australian production continued to be inhibited by drought. The butter price was up 13% on April, supported both by lower volumes and strong export demand. Cheese prices also rose as spot supplies tightened. Powder markets were quieter as buyers were in no rush: they are reportedly either already contracted, or expecting steady prices for the next few months. However, an increase at the bottom end of the price range supported WMP prices.

US cheddar cheese prices were up on the back of good demand, which particularly supported block cheddar prices. Butter demand was influenced by Easter, with demand good at the start of the month but dropping off in the latter half once needs were satisfied; butter was marginally down on the month overall. Powders were up with supplies tight relative to demand.

World Wholesale Table