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23 February 2023: Market's moved, buyers unmoved

Apologies for absence last week, laptop malfunction whilst on the road in Ireland. Not that prices have changed much, but the mood amongst sellers has.

Sweet whey has flatlined for the whole of February, after touching the bottom €10 lower in the last week of January. Skim milk, however, has been stealthily climbing 4.5% in the last fortnight. Market intelligence doesn’t confirm wholesale buying interest, perhaps too many long and wrong books still being worked off, but what has definitely changed is sellers’ resolve to drive both markets higher.

Talking round the market in Ireland, forecasts there have liquid milk prices down a third from a high of 60 cents plus, when the flush of spring milk hits, and with 90% of dairy exported from Ireland, they’re a key market indicator. Lower milk prices don't directly translate into dearer skim, but the fact that processors have turned the slide around in skim to the tune of nearly 5% is indicative that there is likely more to come, to the relief of red-faced middle market long holders.

Whey is peculiarly not showing any sign of an uplift, but sellers that were throwing any amount of tonnage at a buying enquiry have become a lot less humble, and we all know traders hate a flat market.

Skim milk has mirrored vegoils, with both soya and palm oils up about 5% over the week. The whopper 150mt Brazilian soy crop is balanced off by a 60 year record drought in Argentina, exacerbated by early frosts, and the old chestnut of increasing demand from post-covid China is still being wheeled out. Palm oil exports have rocketed from Malaysia this month, and production trimmed back by tropical storms and flooding disrupting harvesting. Indonesia has also increased its biodiesel demand from palm, and supply/demand is complicated by Ramadan and Eid.

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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