World wholesale prices

Updated 09 June 2021

This price series looks at the average wholesale prices of certain dairy products from the EU, Oceania and the US. It aims to provide an overview of global wholesale price movements which can affect prices closer to home.


Prices on global dairy markets firmed again in May, although there was some variation by region. Milk powder markets continued to strengthen, with both SMP and WMP seeing price increases on the month. Butter markets in the EU and US saw price gains in May, while Oceania prices dropped back significantly. Meanwhile, Cheddar cheese prices increased significantly in the US, but held relatively steady in Oceania.


EU markets continued to firm through May, with tighter supplies driving this increase. While milk production is up in line with seasonal increases, milk deliveries have been lower than forecast as a result of the cold spring weather. As such, tighter milk supplies across the continent are helping to support the higher prices in recent months.


Markets were mixed in Oceania. Butter prices dropped back significantly, falling 11% on the previous month. Higher supplies drove this decline, with strong increases in milk production putting pressure on prices. Conversely, both SMP and WMP enjoyed price gains on the month. Strong demand from Asia, and lower stocks of SMP, are supporting the current price levels.


Price movements on US markets were positive for May, with increases in monthly averages seen across all products. Cheddar saw the largest increase in price, up 6.4% on the month on the back of strong demand as restaurants re-stock. Milk powder prices also lifted, with SMP and WMP lifting 6.1% and 2.6% respectively. Tighter WMP availability, combined with moderate demand, are reported to be driving this increase. Butter prices also rose on the month, with the re-opening of some foodservices increasing demand. 

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World wholesale prices