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Butter: new reality changes consumer behaviour

July 16, 2020 1:23 PM, Der AUDITOR
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FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS. While large parts of Europe were struggling with a heatwave last year, things are totally different this summer. Living with the new reality of the pandemic has an enormous impact on butter and dairy consumption.

Germans prefer to stay at home

In Germany, a ZDF survey has found that around 37% of citizens intend to stay at home this year. The Association of the German Confectionery Industry reckons that this will have a sustainable impact on domestic ice cream consumption. Average consumption ranged at 8.3 litres per capita in 2019. The fact that many people are staying at home rather than travelling has notably driven up consumer demand for butter in the supermarkets and shipments to the retail markets have risen.

This has driven up the higher end of the price range for print butter at the Butter and Cheese Exchange in Kempten to EUR 3.60 per kg. Bulk butter is, however, trading in a firm range of EUR 3.40-3.45 per kg as trading takes a break in summer. Bulk butter prices have declined to EUR 3.47 per kg in Poland again.

 

Butter

Location

Price

EXW Poland

EUR 3,470/mt

EXW Germany

EUR 3,400/mt

EEX

EUR 3,446/mt

GDT

USD 3,717/mt

Trade sources

 

EU ships less butter to UK

EU butter exports have risen by 37% in January through to May. After leaving the EU in January, the UK features as the main export destination. While as much as 30,058 metric tonnes of butter were shipped to the UK in January to May 2018, it should be noted that shipments have now declined to 21,446 metric tonnes, thereby reflecting the uncertainty Brexit is generating.

The UK currently is in a transition period, which ends on 31 December. Negotiations on any future trade deals are, however, fraught with difficulty with the risk of a no deal Brexit increasing. Uncertainty weighs heavily on any trading activities between the EU and the UK. By contrast, shipments to the US have nearly doubled since 2018, when the EU exported 9,942 metric tonnes of butter to the US. After taking a dip in 2019, shipments to Saudi Arabia have sharply recovered again by 165%.

 

EU butter exports to third countries, January-May, in mt

Destination

2019

2020

Diff.

UK

25,005

21,446

-14%

USA

12,609

18,747

38%

Saudi Arabia

3,559

9,415

165%

Others

45,056

68,402

52%

Total

86,229

118,010

37%

Eurostat

 

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