17 April 2019

There's a couple of bits of news to pick over this week.

Taking whey powder first, Lacto is posting a mild increase and the Netherlands remains unchanged, but there is a spectre hanging over the market that could drive prices well south, namely African Swine Fever demolishing export demand from SE Asia. Pitting that likelihood against the reduction in cheese production that has held whey prices stable recently, the winner is likely to be lower whey prices, even if skim milk holds its nerve.

Regarding skim, the market gets more weird. On the face of it, Dutch skim milk prices have hiked €70 in the last two weeks, probably just a few truck loads being traded to make the market. Now I'm not a man to tell tales, but I heard about a 5,000 tonne skim milk Intervention Store in Brittany that had been bought out by a Dutch trader, where it has remained on rent these past months, and is only leaving at the rate of one truck a week.

Traders are ratcheting this market higher and aren't ready to hit the Bank button yet.

I appreciate I am vacillating in my view of the likely market trend, but if whey does dip again, it will have to put pressure on the strong holders of Intervention skim stocks.

Sterling has drifted lower in the absence of our career politicians throwing red meat to the baying mobs on College Green, as they clear off for a lie down for Easter, complaining of exhaustion, after having stayed up nearly as late as I do, writing these polemics. I suppose it is a contra-trading response to the relative calm of the Halloween Extension being agreed, or in other words, sell on rumour, buy on fact, and with nothing agreed and nobody there to disagree, just MPs' soundbites from their constituencies, the mild slide could be what we used to call a 'correction'.

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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