EU Wholesale Prices

Published 5 October 18

September saw diverging trends for EU wholesale prices, with proteins like SMP and whey up and butter down, with WMP also easing. Despite the tough summer weather, overall EU milk deliveries have remained near or above year-ago figures. This has calmed fears over supply for now, and may even have added some downwards pressure to the markets.  

Butter prices were down 2.5% on average in September, with most of the decline occurring since the middle of the month. With EU butterfat prices significantly higher than in other regions, exports have been difficult, allowing for rapid stock building. Additionally, extra butter from New Zealand has been offered into the EU from 1 October, possibly at much lower prices, which likely added downwards pressure to the market.

SMP prices were boosted by a strong start to the month, easing slightly in later weeks but still growing overall. In contrast, WMP prices eased in September. As with butter, higher prices compared to regions such as Oceania are weighing on export trade, but the effect is lessened by EU buyers showing a preference for EU-sourced WMP.

Overall cheese prices were steady in the month, with a fall in the Emmental price being balanced out by rises in the other cheese varieties. Cheese still offers favourable returns for processors, and EU production for Jan-July was up 2.1% from the year before. With exports similar to last year, increasing availability may be dampening price growth.  

 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.