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EU dairy wholesale market softened in July

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Staff Writer | August 6, 2018
The EU dairy wholesale market softened in July, with butter and powders down on the month and minimal growth in cheese prices on average.
Dairy   Jan-May cheese production was up 2.2%
Trading is usually quiet at this time of year as it is a common holiday period.

Although some countries have continuing weather concerns, overall sentiment for EU production is still that it will be above last year, with milk production growth currently forecasted at 1.2%.

Butter prices were down for the first time this year, with a month-on-month decline of 2.8%. On a weekly basis, prices peaked in early June. This was around the time that grass productivity rallied in France, a key butter producing country.

Others, like the Netherlands, soon caught up, which could have increased butter availability. July was also the start of a new contracting period for many dairies and retailers, which could have swayed prices if buyers pushed for reductions.

Powder markets were also down this month. SMP prices had been fairly steady through June and into July, before declining in the last two weeks of July.

SMP production is reportedly active, but with most of the fresh product already committed and low trading activity.

WMP prices dropped slightly at the start of the month and have been fairly steady since, with supply and demand reported to be generally balanced.

Average cheese prices had another marginal rise, with Edam and Gouda up but Emmental down and Cheddar relatively steady.

According to Eurostat, Jan-May cheese production was up 2.2% on 2017, and reports suggest it is still a preferable option - but processing capacity will limit how much it can increase.

Whey appears to be the only product to have a notable increase in July, up 2.1%, but on a weekly basis the price rose in late June and has been virtually unchanged since.