The EU Dairy Mintec Category Index (MCI) maintained an upward trend since the beginning of 2021, reaching EUR 3,173/MT on 24th March, up 2.1% m-o-m. This means an increase of 3.9% since the beginning of the calendar year.
A substantial increase was seen in WMP, butter and SMP prices, supporting the index until 24th March 2021, with rises of 16%, 17% and 12%, respectively, since the beginning of the year, offsetting the stagnant price performance of cheese, the largest component of MCI EU Dairy.
Europe is a net exporter of dairy, particularly for WMP and SMP. Therefore export demand is a significant price driver for EU Dairy MCI. EU dairy exports have been moderate, with reduced demand from overseas markets, pressurising EU dairy prices. However, lower than expected outputs for main dairy categories across Europe played a significant role in the index's rise. Cold weather and Siberian winds blowing through West Europe stalled milk supply in January 2021, down by 0.9% y-o-y. The decrease of milk collection in January 2021 translated into a production decline for the main categories of milk products: SMP (-5.6%), butter (-3.9%), cheese (-1%) compared to January 2020.