EU milk powder prices increased in February on bullish market sentiment with better domestic buying interest driven by traders covering short positions and food manufacturers covering left-open 2023 Q1 demand. During the last week of the month, the Algerian buying agency, Office National Interprofessional du Lait et de Produtis Laitiers (ONIL) issued a new tender for Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) and Whole Milk Powder (WMP), for delivery in Q2. ONIL tenders continue to be a key indicator for international demand, because Algeria is one of the leading consumers and importers of dry milk powder worldwide.
According to multiple market sources, the SMP price range for this tender was reported between $3,000-3,100/mt CFR Algeria. A complete volume of approximately 80k mt has been sold in the tender, divided into SMP and WMP. While the WMP demand was largely covered by New Zealand’s suppliers, SMP volumes have mostly been covered by European suppliers.
EU market sentiment remains mixed, while some market participants anticipate further price increases with increasing international demand. However, other market participants anticipate a neutral or slightly bearish market sentiment, with the approaching milk flush already supporting milk intakes. The supply of milk is only expected to grow in the run-up to the milk flush in Europe in April/May.
For reference, the Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Whole Milk Powder spray EXW Europe [Mintec Code: J118] was last assessed on 23rd February at €3,550/mt, an increase of 1.4% month-on-month (m-o-m). The MBP for Skimmed Milk Powder EXW Europe [Mintec Code: J117] was assessed at €2,600/mt on 23rd February, up by €200/mt on the month.