Spot prices for butter continued to firm over the last week as supplies remain tight across Europe. According to the Dutch dairy board, spot prices for butter gained by a further €100/t, or 2%, in price over the last week to hit a six-week high of €5,550/t.
Skimmed milk powder (SMP) prices also made gains this week, with spot prices reported to the Dutch dairy board jumping 4% in the week to €1,550/t – the highest since late June. Europe’s butter market has continued to firm for much of 2018 despite recent figures showing a strong increase in butter production in a number of large dairy-producing EU member states.
In Ireland, butter production for the first five months of the year (Jan-May) stood at 89,400t, which is more than 3% ahead of the same period last year. Since the end of quotas, Ireland has grown to become the third-largest butter-producing country in Europe, pumping out close to 230,000t per annum.
In France, Europe’s second-largest butter producer, production for the first five months of 2018 is up more than 5% year on year at 202,000t. It’s a similar story in the Netherlands, where butter production from January to May rose almost 6% to 64,100t.
Interestingly, butter production in Germany, Europe’s largest producer, is down more than 2% in the first five months of 2018 to 215,700t. Across the 28 EU member states, butter production in the first five months of 2018 is estimated to be up almost 2% year on year to 945,800t.