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World Dairy Markets Slump

February 4, 2020

Jim Dickrell

World dairy markets slumped 4.7% in the aggregate on today’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction in New Zealand, reflecting pre-auction concerns that the coronavirus epidemic in China could impact world dairy trade. Volume was also depressed, with just 29,000 metric tons of product changing hands.

The impact was felt primarily in milk powder markets, with whole milk powder (WMP) prices down 6.2% to $1.38/lb and skim milk powder (SMP) down 4.2% to $1.32/lb.

Cheese and butter markets were actually up. Cheese jumped 6% to $1.95/lb. Butter was up marginally (0.2%) to $1.93/lb.

The U.S. remains competitive on SMP prices at $1.23/lb. U.S. prices for cheese and butter are about on par with world prices. And, as usual, the U.S. WMP prices remain substantially above world prices.



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