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3 November 2023: What's going on?

I feel a bit like Robin from ‘Ghosts’, trying to work out where things are going at the moment. After the arch-manipulation by the Dutch whey market, it has suddenly halted and looked behind to see if any other markets are following. They are, Germany up €40, France up €45, but still below the Netherlands’ €840.

Skim is still ploughing on up, though, another 1% to just shy of €2600. Looking at the liquid milk market, the summer of discontent with producers facing the imbalance of high input costs versus low farm gate milk price has resulted in a fall of 3% in UK production. This may well force prices justifiably higher, which will not help in turn in pulling down milk powder values.

Looking at the wider market, news from SE Asia suggests milk powders are now too expensive against local pork markets, so usage will likely decrease, and this is a major global influencer.

Things are quiet in background markets, the US soy harvest is all but over, and rain is in the forecast in Brazil, and the soy complex sees beans about even, while meal stays high and oil dips. Palm oil is having one of its rare bouts of superiority, propelled higher by strong exports and Indonesian export controls to manage domestic food inflation, but as crude oil is now down to $80/barrel, there is little to support this rally.

The US and UK decisions to leave interest rates be has dampened the pound, still languishing in the mid €1.14s, so no help there.

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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