The Milk Market Observatory (MMO) have met for their meeting and as expected, there was very little good news in terms of price from the meeting, yet better news in terms of demand and product levels in store in the EU.
It was confirmed that EU average milk prices in March were 31.67 cents which is 22.73ppl. World markets are still very weak, with SMP and whey powder still falling, yet butter prices in the EU are stabilising. For May, prices are expected to be 29.9cents/21.46ppl in the Republic of Ireland and in NW Europe, Arla and Friesland Campina are cutting between 1.25 to 1.5 cents, and there are fears of further cuts in July. In the EU, year on year, butter prices are down 11.8%, cheese by 20% and most significantly, Whole Milk Powder by 24.8%
As far as Exports are concerned, butter trade to Saudi Arabia, Egypt & USA is strong and overall, global demand for milk products is solid. In the EU butter and SMP stocks are falling, but cheese stocks remain slightly on the high side. Attached to the relative positivity for demand, there are concerns about the continuing impact of the Russian ban and the fact that China is importing 32% less WMP and SMP than the same time in 2014.