Market analysis

Read our report on the whey powders market in the U.S. Take a look at surging prices for dry whey and WPC in 2021. Take a look at the increased production of whey powders and growing domestic use for animal feed. Discover also the numbers on larger whey powders exports to China, Japan, and South Korea among others. 

 

Whey powders price overview

In the U.S., the prices for WPC have been raising continuously throughout 2021. Recent prices for WPC 34 surged to $ 2.816 per tonne in December, noting an almost 49% growth compared to the same month in 2020. The highest price was recorded at $ 2.899 per tonne on December 3rd – an increase of over 49% from the previous year. At the beginning of December, the prices went up as the end-users upheld the demand and continued to place orders for WPC 34. Presently, general production and supply are stable, with exceptions for specific brands. Current prices have broken the record as similar numbers were noted last time in 2014. This year, the average price of WPC 34 in the U.S. was $ 2.452 per tonne – a growth of 18,62% compared to 2020. 

 

In the first week of December, the price for dry whey in the U.S. was at € 1.272 per tonne – a growth of almost 68% compared to the same period in 2020. It is one of the highest year-to-year price increases in whey products around the world. The U.S. prices for dry whey for animal feed milk replacement stood at € 997 per tonne in December – up by almost 62% from last year. On average, the product was sold at € 872 per tonne – an increase of over 53% compared to last year’s numbers. 

 

Whey powders production, stocks, and trade

In the U.S, the monthly production of WPC surged to over 46.63 million pounds in October, growing by 13,8% compared to the same month last year. October output was at the highest level since the all-time record of over 50 million WPC produced in March 2018. Ending stocks in the U.S. were at 66.04 million pounds – a growth of 5,53% compared to the same month in 2020. Over 98% of the WPC stocks were used for human consumption while the rest was dedicated for animal feed use.

 

In September and October, the animal use of the whey protein concentrate in the U.S. has dropped significantly to slightly above 810,000 pounds per month – the sharpest decline of almost 50% was from August to September. However, animal feed use of WPC has been higher each month of 2021 than in the previous year, except for January. By the end of October, the average monthly use of WPC for animal feed in 2021 was at 1.57 million pounds compared to 0.89 million a year before. 


Between January and October 2021, the U.S. exported a total of 506,000 tonnes of whey powder – a growth of almost 13% from last year. Over 93% of these exports were sweet whey powder and WPC, noting an increase of 14,3% compared to the same period in 2020. The products mainly reached China where purchases of U.S. whey powder were increased by over 36% from last year on the growing demand for animal feed due to the rebuilding of the country’s pig herd. Mexico, Vietnam, and South Korea have also increased orders for U.S. whey powders by 18,38%, 46,49%, and 39,5% respectively. Total U.S. exports of Whey Protein Isolate amounted to 57,000 tonnes between January and October recording a 17,3% growth from last year.

 

Key buyers of the product were China, Canada, Japan, and the UK, all increasing their orders from 2020. South Korea ranked as the seventh-largest buyer of the WPI from the U.S. but marked the highest growth in purchases by over 62% compared to the same period last year. However, two of the major buyers - the Netherlands and India – decreased their orders by almost 44% and 31% respectively. In terms of imports, the U.S. has purchased 70,000 tonnes of whey powder between January and October 2021, a decrease of 1,000 tonnes from last year. Whey powder was mainly delivered by New Zealand and Canada while Denmark became the second-largest supplier of WPI to the U.S. with a 114% increase in deliveries from last year.

 

 

Read more about related topics:

EU dairy extra trade – Q3 2021

Highlights from the Chinese amino acid market – Q3 2021