Inflation leads to sharp price fall in high whey protein concentrates

February 9, 2023

2 mins read

In the EU and US, high whey protein prices have plummeted over the last seven months. The MBP for Whey Protein Concentrate 80% Regular EXW EU [Mintec Code: WCREU] was assessed at €6,200/mt on 1st February 2023, down 50% (-EUR 6,150/mt) since its peak in June 2022. As with the EU, the MBP for Whey Protein Concentrate 80% Regular FCA (FOB factory) US [Mintec Code: WCRUS] dropped 50% since its peak at the end of May 2022, to $2.75/lb on 1st February.

Market fundamentals explain this downward price trend. With the cost-of-living crisis caused by high inflation rates, consumers have become more price-conscious. Thus, protein demand for products such as powder shakes, is reported to be subdued. Furthermore, consumers are trading down high whey protein concentrates and consequently shifting to more affordable products with a lower protein content. Meanwhile, food processors are downsizing packaging to mitigate the increase in cost production.

This drop in demand is combined with strong availability. Reports from market participants suggest that high whey protein stocks at manufacturers have grown in the EU and US. Also, milk collection surpluses since Q4 2022 have contributed to steady whey powder production in both the EU and US. Due to the higher valorisation of cheese versus other dairy commodities, EU milk processors have channelled more milk to cheese, resulting in steady whey powder production, a by-product of cheese production.

Jose Saiz
Jose Saiz

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