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14 May 2020: Here we go again ...

Suddenly export demand from the Far East is dominating the headlines, presumably because East Asia has emerged from lockdown before Europe, and consumer demand is rising. Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and now the biggie, China, have all weighed in with import orders, mostly SMP, whey powder and whey protein concentrate 35%, and paying what it takes to get tonnage on the books. This has impacted on a market already short of derivatives such as whey permeate and lactose, the prices of which now exceed whey powder, which is an unusual state of affairs.

Despite that, whey has ticked up only a modest €10 this week, but this surely can't be the end of the rise. Whey's price aspirations have been helped by skim milk powder, which has leapt €50 for feed grade and €80 for edible grade in the last week, albeit from physically unobtainable prices €200 below the real market. This has pushed the real world of skim milk to over €2000 this week, and it's still difficult to find physical sellers, so happy are the dryers to ride the wave, and the middle market traders enjoying a get-out-of-jail-free card. And by the feel of it, despite dire liquid milk prices across Europe, the dryers are quite happy for the margin from skim to keep them afloat, and this unwelcome surge isn't over yet.

Sterling has drifted lower against the euro and dollar, sentiment not helped by our hapless chancellor voting against the government and supporting a Tory rebellion that was trying to stop chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef being sneaked into the UK:US trade deal that Cummings is cooking up. Apparently he pressed the wrong button, or that's what he told the whip's office!

BDC agri is the UK broker for Lacto Production milk and whey powder products.

For further information and prices, contact Greg Dunn on 01206 381521 or


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