EU wholesale prices

Updated 7 September 2021

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

The general story for European wholesale markets in August was that the summer holiday season made markets quieter and weaker in the first part of the month. Towards the end of the month demand started to pick up again as buyers returned to the market. However, overall averages were down on the month, with the exception of cheese products.

The retail packaged butter market in particular saw a slowdown in the holiday period. For commercial butter, reports suggest buyers were somewhat hesitant to purchase due to pandemic uncertainty. However, demand was said to have picked up a bit towards the end of the period, raising prices. The average price for the month was almost unchanged on July (-0.1%).

SMP prices dropped at the start of the month, then picked up towards the end, following the pattern of the summer holiday season. Additionally, reports indicate that more milk has been going into cheese and less into powder, which alongside the seasonal decline in milk production, led to tighter supplies.

WMP demand had been light, and manufacturers were producing less in response to that. There were reports of demand picking up towards the end of the month, although movements in price remained small. Overall the average for the month was down slightly (-0.6%).

Cheese prices bucked the trend and rose on the month in August. Cheddar had the strongest increase with a 2.1% monthly rise, while Gouda was up 1%. Emmental and Edam were steadier, up by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. 

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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