The Mintec Category Index (MCI) for EU dairy has maintained an upward trend since the beginning of 2021, rising 0.8% in the four weeks to 22nd September 2021, reaching EUR 3,385/MT. Lower than expected milk collections across Europe and firm export demand, particularly from China, have been supporting prices since the beginning of 2021.
Butter prices of the EU Dairy MCI climbed by 2.5% month-on-month (m-o-m) to EUR 727/MT in September, a jump of EUR 18/MT. The price rise was attributed to slow production, down 2.3% year-on-year (y-o-y), during the January-July 2021 period, due to low availability of cream and EU high cream prices. As a result, EU butter stocks started to decline, and EU butter prices rose in September.
Both skimmed milk powder (SMP) and whole milk powder (WMP) prices of the EU Dairy MCI surged in September due to a strong appetite from China, healthy domestic consumption and a significant drop in production between January and July, down by 4.3% and 1.2% y-o-y respectively.
Cheddar, the largest component of the EU Dairy MCI, remained flat in September at EUR 2,358/MT. According to market participants, export demand has remained stagnant, and cheese production has increased 2.2% y-o-y during January-July 2021, preventing prices from increasing.