In March 2021, the Global Dairy Mintec Category Index (MCI) continued an upward trend to reach an average price of USD 4,026/MT, rising for the tenth consecutive month and lifting the index to over 700 points from the same period last year. This implies an increase of 8.7% versus the average value of February 2021.
The 13.1% rise m-o-m of the global butter category index reflected tight supplies in Europe due to a slow start of its milk production season and increasing domestic demand in anticipation of a foodservice sector recovery.
Both skimmed milk and whole milk powder global indexes also rose by 3.4% and 16.4% m-o-m, respectively, supported by a surge in imports from Asia, particularly China, due to declining production in Oceania and scarce shipping containers availability in Europe and North America.
By contrast, cheese prices remained flat in March month-on-month due to an increase in cheese inventories in the US and limited demand for spot supplies.
China’s appetite for dairy products was the key driver for global markets. Chinese consumers seeking dairy products to boost immune system-building properties and the high cost of producing milk in China have supported the rise of Global Dairy MCI. European and New Zealand trade data showed dairy exports out of China are irregular, whereas Chinese’s import demand continues to remain stable.