With no Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction this week or last week, we are relying on the prices quoted by traders on the European spot market for intelligence this week.

According to the graphs, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, with butter soaring to new heights not seen since December last year.

It has now broken the €5,000/t mark, with the average price quoted standing at €5,040/t, up a significant €150/t since last week.

With major retailer and consumer apathy towards inflation, it will be interesting to see if these price rises will be passed on to consumers. The US is leading the charge on butter, with prices there over €2,500/t more expensive than in either the EU or Oceania.

Sentiment for other product categories was more subdued, with whole milk powder (WMP) rising by €15/t while skim milk powder fell by €30/t. Cheddar cheese prices increased by €50/t.

All in all, it is steady as it goes on the dairy market scene. The big fear has been that recent price rallies would be eroded by a fall in confidence among traders, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Next week’s GDT results will tell us more.

The big news of course is that China still hasn’t entered the market to any great extent.

New figures for September are putting Chinese WMP imports down 37% compared with September 2022 and down 38% for this year to date.

Only infant formula took a bigger drop in September, down 41% compared with September 2022 and down 7% for this year to date. It seems we will have to wait a bit longer for the Chinese comeback.