After a prolonged period of significant price gaps in butter across major producing regions (Europe, Oceania, and the US), we see that the price difference has shrunk. A similar trend is observed in the powders market, where SMP and WMP prices have been converging over the past two weeks. Read below for insights.


recent observations reveal a reduction to ± €350 | $400. As of January 17, 2024, the EU Vesper Price Index reports butter prices at €5400 | $5873/mt ($2.66/lb) EXW, Oceania at €5424 | $5899/mt ($2.68/lb) EXW, and US VPI butter 82% unsalted at €5209 | $5665/mt ($2.57/lb) EXW (Figure 1).

Price Comparison butter

Figure 1: Vesper Price Index for Butter in EUR/MT

Driven by a notable 5.8% surge in New Zealand butter prices during the recent GDT event, this increase was unique, showing a small premium for C1 and C2 over other contracts. In the US, cream availability led to lower cream and butter prices, with seasonal reductions in butter consumption adding pressure to the US market. Europe witnessed purchasing interest for winter butter, though demand for regular butter remained relatively subdued.

The outlook for butter is generally stable globally, with a slight bearish undertone in Europe and the United States due to lower demand. Buyer hesitancy may persist as long as prices decline, keeping the market slow and under pressure. New Zealand’s prices are expected to stabilize after recent increases.

Although there was a bit of activity in the global markets for SMP with a GDT event and an ONIL tender over the last days, the markets still feel quiet and demand is sluggish. The European market has started to feel slightly weaker, as there are some additional offers. Now that the EU market is feeling a little weaker, buyers are likely going to wait even longer before purchasing again, in anticipation of even lower prices in the near future. Regarding the US, NFDM exports from the US are strong, pushing stocks to the lowest level they have been since 2016, and prices up again over the past week.

The EU Vesper Price Index (17/01/2024) for SMP decreased to €2450 | $2664/mt ($1.21/lb) EXW. Oceania SMP price is at €2418 | $2630/mt ($1.19/lb) EXW. US VPI SMP price is now at €2442 | $2656/mt ($1.21/lb) EXW, see Figure 2.

Price Comparison smp

 Figure 2: Vesper Price Index for SMP in EUR/MT

The price gap between producing regions is narrowing. A slow market with low production and good coverage in Europe leads to downward price movements influenced by butter and skim prices. Conversely, Oceania WMP prices increased by 2.05% to €3080 | $3350/mt ($1.52/lb) EXW, though the rise was less than anticipated due to lower-than-expected demand from China and other Asian countries during the GDT event.

Prices from Europe and Oceania are converging in the coming weeks. European prices feel slightly weaker, while the more affordable Oceania prices make the market stable and attractive for global buyers.

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