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16 March 2023: All pigs fed and ready for takeoff!

My prediction of spiralling prices now looks as likely as the Farmer’s pigs taking off. Complete stalemate in the market sees sweet whey rise a paltry €10 this week, and skim milk powder static. Palm and coconut fats remain resolutely dear, so no visible prospect of discounting raw materials or milk powder blends at the moment.

What is interesting is the price relationship between whey and skim in regards to protein content. If all whey went into the feed industry, 11% protein bought at €660 is a winner over 33% protein in skim at €2400 (the normal price:protein ratio being 1:3, currently 1:4), but as the food industry dictates whey values, upward price influence is unlikely to come from the feed industry, from formulation changes.

In other markets, soya is in gentle decline, Brazil’s extra 18% playing off Argentina’s probable 20% drought loss, in a global market where demand is muted. Palm oil is in the same place, as Indian imports in February were down 30%, faced off by a rise in Malaysian exports of 45%, but a strong ringitt and scant buying interest globally.

So, it looks that if anything’s a buy, it’s sweet whey, but hand-to-mouth seems most prudent.

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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