Estimates on Simplified Supply and Use Balances

Facts and Figures

Companies and farmers require market information for their short- and long-term planning. Data on market balances and developments in agricultural markets serve as one important background information for investment decisions. Where this information is missing, market partners have to rely on estimates only.

Since EUROSTAT has ceased efforts to produce harmonized market balances on dairy products across all EU Member States, market analysists face difficulties retrieving comparable data on the market development for dairy products at country level.

The Thünen Institute has applied a simplified approach employing publicly available data of the EU to generate “estimates on simplified supply and use balances”.


Three times a year the EU Commission provides a so-called “Short-term outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets”. These regular publications cover data until February 15, June 15, September 15 of each year, respectively, leading to a summer, autumn and winter Short-term Outlook (STO). All data is published on the EU Commissions’ website. Along with the report data on EU balance sheets also production details by Member State are provided. Import and export data are retrieved from the EUROSTAT site and refers to the data set „EU Trade Since 1988 By CN8 (DS-016890)”. Prices presented in the sheets are calculated as averages from monthly data of the EU Commissions’ “Commodity price dashboard”.

Our Approach

The information we provide here covers simplified market balances for the following dairy products: butter, cheese, drinking milk, skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, and cream. Production is directly taken from the “short-term outlook/ put link here as above in sources/source material”. Aggregated imports and exports are calculated based on trade data at the 8-digit-level for the dairy product groups. Estimates on use of products at Member State level are derived by adding aggregated imports to the production and by subtracting aggregate exports of the respective product group. For some products, e.g. milk powders, the calculation of trade figures is weighted by conversion factors to respect the fact that certain products, e.g. feed, include multiple ingredients.

This calculated quantity is called “Domestic use (incl. stock changes)” covering both domestic consumption as well as changes on stocks. Up to now we are unable to compile data on stocks or stock changes at Member State level in order to come up with a supply and use balance including stocks. Diverting from the standard approach the procedure chosen may lead to negative use figures (marked in red) in cases where destocking took place.

Complete data sets for Germany

Please note that there are publications available applying the common standard approach covering stocks or stock changes as well as types of uses published at member state level e.g. by the Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE) in Germany. Data can be found at the BLE website.

Download Area

Simplified Supply and Use Balances of butter (updated: August 2016)
PDF and Excel sheet

Simplified Supply and Use Balances of cheese (updated: August 2016)
PDF and Excel sheet

Simplified Supply and Use Balances of drinking milk (updated: August 2016)
PDF and Excel sheet

Simplified Supply and Use Balances of skimmed milk powder (updated: August 2016)
PDF and Excel sheet

Simplified Supply and Use Balances of whole milk powder (updated: August 2016)
PDF and Excel sheet