Dairy commodity prices have strengthened in the last few weeks marginally, as China continues to soak up what products it can get from Oceania.

Remember, New Zealand dairy farmers are only really getting into the swing of things at this time of the year as calving progresses in the North Island and cows start to calve in the South Island.

To see key dairy commodity prices strengthening as milk begins to flow is good news for Irish milk suppliers as they move into the autumn supply period.

Skim milk powder (SMP) is trading at €2,510/t, approximately 19% ahead of the same time last year.

Butter is also up. Prices this week in the EU are close to €3,940/t, which is a long way from the heights of €5,500 or €6,000 per tonne in 2018, but still about 16% ahead of the same time last year.

What’s also important is that SMP was €1,300 and €1,400/t in 2018, so it’s up at least €1,000/t on where it was in 2018.

Whole milk powder (WMP) is trading this week at about €3,140/t, which is up 13% on the same period last year.

Cheddar has been steady Eddie as per normal and even a touch sluggish in the early part of the year, but now it is 10% ahead of the same time last year at €3,250 per tonne.

The big news on supply is that the big EU dairy players – Germany, France and the Netherlands – were all back pretty significantly, minus 1.7%, minus 1.5%, and minus 1.3% respectively.

These three countries are the engine room, the powerhouse, of milk production in the EU and all three are back for the first six months of the year.