As with other dairy commodities, European sweet whey powder (SWP) prices fell sharply in November. The Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Whey Powder EXW EU [Mintec Code: BL131] was last assessed at EUR 895/MT on the 17th of November, down 22% month-on-month (m-o-m), and EUR 665/MT lower since its peak at the end of April 2022.
In November, the market was reported quiet with limited activity. It seems most buyers have anticipated purchases for the Christmas period. However, some buyers are still seeking volume for Q1, although they are not yet actively purchasing. According to market participants, “Buyers are still waiting for prices to decline”. Due to the higher valorisation of cheese versus other dairy commodities, milk processors channelled more milk to cheese. Consequently, reports suggest that EU whey stocks are still high and could pressure prices further in the coming weeks. According to multiple market sources, price difference levels between western and eastern Europe have slightly narrowed .
Also, European high whey protein prices traded down through November, with low buying interest domestically and internationally. With the cost-of-living crisis caused by high inflation rates, European consumers have become more price conscious. Thus, protein demand, for products such as powder shakes, is reported to be subdued, but demand from the infant formula sector remains steady. The MBP for Whey Protein Concentrate 80% Regular EXW EU [Mintec Code: WCREU] was assessed at EUR 9,000/MT on the 17th of November, down 5.3% m-o-m. Similarly, the MBP for Whey Protein Isolate 90% EXW EU [Mintec Code: WIEU] dropped to EUR 14,900/MT on the 17th of November, down 14.6% m-o-m.