EU wholesale prices

Updated 13 January 2022

An overview of how the dairy markets are moving in the EU. Price series comparing average EU wholesale prices of butter, SMP, WMP and cheese. They are updated on a monthly basis.

Monthly overview

Tight supplies continued to support dairy product prices on the EU wholesale markets in December, with increases nearly across the board – the one exception being a marginal decline in the Emmental price between November and December. Reports indicate that key producers such as France and Germany have had disappointing production figures. This, combined with it being a lower part of the production season anyway, has kept availability of dairy products tight.

The butter price rose 7.6% on the month in December, helped by a boost from last minute end-of-year retail demand. At the start of the month there were reports that some manufacturers weren’t able to keep up with contracted orders, leaving buyers scrambling to find additional butter to fill that retail demand. Prices particularly rose at the top end of the range, reflecting buyers paying more to complete deals with their preferred sources. High cream prices also supported the butter price.

Skimmed milk powder (SMP) prices rose, ending the year on a high note. Availability is reported to be tight, with production focused on filling existing orders. SMP markets were quieter in the latter half of December, partly due to an expected break over the holidays and partly due to lack of uncommitted product to buy.

The situation was similar for whole milk powder (WMP), as prices rose and stocks are reportedly low. Availability is tight, and similarly to SMP there is little uncommitted product available to the market, which supported the price increase. EU manufacturers were said to have focused on the internal market, particularly as exports are less feasible given the considerable price premium over Oceania.

Cheese availability was also very tight, with reports that the vast majority of cheese stocks are already committed. Edam and Gouda prices rose the most in the month, up 7.3% and 6.3% on November respectively. The Cheddar cheese price rose a more modest 1.3%, while the Emmental price bucked the trend by declining a marginal 0.3% month on month.

Additional information

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.

As of 1 February 2020 the MMO changed its data reporting to EU (excluding UK), including historic data back to January 2016. For historic EU-28 prices up to Dec 2019, please download the spreadsheet using the link below.

Download dataset

EU wholesale prices

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