It appears that gouda stocks are higher than expected in the EU, but lower than two months ago, when warehouses were full of 8-week gouda. Also, it is likely that demand was fulfilled in February when gouda and edam were under €2,900/mt, and buyers overreacted with massive purchases, taking the opportunity of seven-year low prices.
Currently, uncertainty is reported in the market, both on the demand and supply side. Milk flush season starts in spring and the market is watching out for cold snaps that northern Europe is experiencing this week, as this is likely to affect grass growth in March and reduce growth potential for the milk flush. Furthermore, demand is limited, together with low interest at the international level.
Hence, EU gouda price is looking for direction and uncertain demand at these price levels remains. The question now is if gouda prices break the €2,900/mt support level again, before the beginning of milk flush and buyers return in large numbers.
On the week ending 9th March, EU yellow cheese prices were stable, but with a bearish tone. The cheese category could not avoid the downward price pressure in the wider European dairy sector, and yellow cheeses dropped for the second consecutive week. The Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Gouda EXW Europe [Mintec Code: J114] was last assessed on 9th March at €3,150/mt, up €5/mt during the week. Meanwhile, the MBP for Edam EXW Europe [Mintec Code: J113] stood at €3,120, down 1% week-on-week (w-o-w).