DairyCo is confirming that most EU wholesale dairy markets stayed stable in February with the exception of butter which saw prices realign with world levels.
Average prices for butter in the EU fell by over 6% during February. Increases in milk production leading to good supplies of excess cream, along with weakening demand continued to exert downward pressure on butter prices through February. By the middle of the month, EU butter prices fell sufficiently to become more competitive, continuing to decrease through February. However, as prices aligned with world prices it allowed EU butter to become more competitive generating improved demand, both from domestic and export markets. Prices in the second half of February stabilised, although at the lower world level.
EU powder prices (food quality) rose by 1.5% through February despite good milk production. With prices remaining competitive on global markets, export demand remained strong. Relatively low levels of uncommitted stocks also helped to keep market prices from dropping significantly.
Cheese prices in the EU remained stable with markets reported as quiet in February. While there are some reports of increased availability, this appears to be balanced off with import demand from Russia keeping markets well balanced overall.
Meanwhile, January saw the Retail Price Index decreasing by 0.8 points compared to the previous month but remained higher than at the same point in 2013. The cheese price index saw the largest change among the dairy products, increasing by 4.3 points from the previous month. The fresh milk price index increased from last month by 1.5 points while the butter price index slipped down marginally from last month.