Global dairy wholesale prices generally increased in January, despite increased milk production compared with last year.

According to the latest DairyCo report, milk production among the major exporters was higher than last year, allowing stocks to rebuild. However, in the USA and Oceania butter prices firmed by 1% and 4% respectively in January, to $3,632/t (£2,176) and $4,519/t (£2,707), on strong export demand.

EU prices fell by 5%, to $5,375/t (£3,220), as high prices were curbing exports and buoyant milk production was limiting domestic demand, said the report.

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Milk powder was also benefiting from firm export demand, with prices in the US, EU and Oceania all increasing by between 1% and 4% over the month. “Focus is largely on whole milk powder, which has been impacting skimmed powder production.” US cheese prices jumped by 11%, to $4,594/t (£2,752), with Oceania values stable at $4,900/t (£2,935).

However, commodity values fell by 1.2% at Fonterra’s auction on Tuesday (18 February), to a weighted average of $5,016/t (£3,005). Volumes continued their seasonal decline, with 34,568t sold compared to 33,467 at the same time last year.