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U.S. Butter Prices Soar 40% y/y on Labour Shortage and Rising Packaging Costs

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U.S. Butter Prices Soar 40% y/y on Labour Shortage and Rising Packaging Costs

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. – Butter – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights‘. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The average price for Grade AA butter in the U.S. amounted to $2.02 per pound on December 11, 2021, increasing by 40% from the same period last year. Reducing milk cow herd, labour shortage, and the rising packaging materials costs constrain production growth, leading to insufficient supply in the market that results in the butter price surge. Demand for butter typically picks in Q4, when Americans consume more holiday cookies and other traditional dishes. In December, butter prices picked up 3.7% compared to the figures a month earlier.       

According to recent USDA data, prices for Grade AA butter averaged $2.02 per pound for the week ending December 11, 2021, a 40%-increase compared to December 2020. The main reason for that spike was the insufficient supply owing to the reducing milk cow herd and the labour shortage. Over January-October 2021, total butter production reduced by 11% to 1.6M lb against the figures of the same period last year. The rising cost of packaging materials also contributes to higher butter prices. Over the past month, butter prices rose 3.7%, driven by strong seasonal demand. The current challenges are expected to persist in the following year, and butter prices will climb further.

US Butter Imports in 2020

Last year, approx. 33K tonnes of butter were imported into the U.S., waning by -23.9% against 2019. In value terms, the purchases declined to $277M (IndexBox estimates).

Ireland (25K tonnes) constituted the largest butter supplier to the U.S., accounting for a 77% share of total volume. Moreover, butter imports from Ireland exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest supplier, New Zealand (3.1K tonnes), eightfold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by France (1.4K tonnes), with a 4.1% share.

In value terms, Ireland ($222M) constituted the largest butter supplier to the U.S., comprising 80% of total imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by New Zealand ($19M), with a 7% share of total imports. It was followed by France, with a 4.8% share.

In 2020, the average annual growth rate of value from Ireland stood at +1.4%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: New Zealand (-18.6% per year) and France (-8.2% per year).

Source: IndexBox Platform