Japan’s growing presence in the world’s cheese market has brought the purchasing power to milk producers for softer prices.
“Given the rise in raw milk prices, cheese prices could have increased more,” a trading house official said of the company’s recent negotiations for Japan-bound cheese from Australia and New Zealand covering the second half of 2017.
Cheddar used to make processed cheese was priced at around $4,300 a ton, up just $100 — or 2% — from the January-June half. Some forecasts had pegged a sharper increase to over $4,500 a ton.
The benchmark Global Dairy Trade Price Index jumped more than 50% during the past year amid a global shortage of raw milk. But cheddar cheese prices for Japan recorded milder growth of just over 20%.