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Agricultural centre: there is no reason for a major butter price rise

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThere is no reason for a major butter price increase at the moment, said manager of Agricultural Market Promotion Center Inguna Gulbe in an interview to Rīta Panorāma.

She mentioned that the recent rapid price rise can be explained with the change of consumers’ habits – people have started consuming it more, whereas demand for vegetable fats, including palm oil, has been in decline.

It should be said that, commenting on data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, DNB Bank’s economist Peteris Strautins said that butter is currently the most popular product in an economic sense. «The price of butter has nearly doubled over the course of the past twelve months. Skimmed-milk powder price, on the other hand, has declined in comparison with a year ago,» says Strautins.

He also mentions that the market value of ‘dry’ components of milk have grown nearly ~30% since August 2016.

Although Gulbe says price rise is associated with the change of residents’ habits, Strautins notes that the general price rise of dairy products was dictated unfavourable weather conditions in the main export regions. Consequences left from the 2014-2016 low-price period.

Gulbe also comments on this problem: «If there is a decline in demand for plant fats and increase of demand for animal fats, it is no easy task to obtain those quickly – it is necessary to increase the number of cattle. It is also necessary to change genetics, because until now most of EU member states paid for milk and protein content, but it was not possible to process fats economically and sell them.»

It is also worth mentioning Agriculture Ministry’s Market and Direct Support Department’s latest data for June. Data shows that butter prices continued growing in the EU. In May, the price of butter in the EU had grown 8.2% in comparison with April and had been 81% higher in comparison with last year’s May. Skimmed-milk powder price had grown 1.9% in May.

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