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24 April 2020: Whey up, skim down, supply tight

An interesting phenomenon has returned to the whey market, namely sudden import demand from SE Asia, notably China, as despite a resurgence in ASF (allegedly coming from illegally transported pigs), the restocking with high progeny sows from France has impacted demand for whey. This has put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons in terms of whey availability, and with it, supplies of permeate and lactose have also become scarce, and swiftly. Coupled with poor cheese production, caused by dryers seeking greater riches from drying milk for skim, this has caused a €40 hike in whey prices in the Netherlands this week, and that trend is likely to increase.

However, the avarice of the milk processors has met a sticky end, and it seems last week’s intimation that Intervention purchasing will be invoked by the EU has apparently come to pass. Having said that, the floor price is a smidgeon below €1700, but physical supplies available now are still in the €1900 region, with processors and greedy middle market traders reluctant to take the cold bath of a technically collapsing market. Even the paper market in the Netherlands has bounced €50 this week, to €1780.

Sterling is taking a breather today, losing a cent against both the euro and the dollar, as UK inflation dips sharply due to price slashing by clothing retailers and fuel prices sliding. This seems a little facile, as the same phenomena are acting on the global economy. But then, the twelve-year-olds in the cabinet scarcely engender optimism that the UK will emerge from COVID-19 above the line of the global drubbing.


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 g.dunn@blackdiamondcommodities.com

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