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Lactose, US

This page contains wholesale prices for Lactose (US), updated weekly: The ”price range” term is the absolute lowest and highest price recorded. The “mostly” is the price points where the majority of prices seem clustered. It is intended to drop out the more extreme prices, which may be outliers. There is no specific rule for setting the “mostly.” It is subjective if that term translated well. It is a feeling about the essence of transactional pricing. (Source: USDA)

The prices for lactose recorded over the last ten weeks are listed in the table, while the graph below illustrates price trends over the past three years in € and in local currency.

The graphs below compare:
  • Lactose production and stocks with the market price trends;
  • WPC and Lactose prices in US with Sweet Whey and Skimmed Milk Powder price in Germany.

N.B.:

Lactose is sugar naturally present in milk.

During cheese production, approx. 80-90% of lactose moves into serum thus contributing to make up a part of it (approx. 5%).

Lactose is then recovered from serum in form of monohydrate alpha-lactose through processes of concentration (by evaporation), and crystallization.

Sugar extraction takes place by centrifugation; afterwards lactose is dried and ground.

There are three kinds of lactose: edible lactose, refined lactose, and pharmaceutical lactose, but, as a rule, American and European prices (see the table and graph below) refer to edible typology.

Thanks to its little sweetening power, lactose is applied in several edible preparation, especially chocolate and derivates, bakery and pharmaceutical products; it is also employed in the feed sector.

Furthermore, by means of special industrial processes as hydrolysis (enzymatic and catalytic splitting of lactose into glucose and galactose), enzymes treatment or other specific procedures (catalytic isomerization), starting from lactose many derived products can be obtained.

Among the best known and most important derivates are lactulose, lactitol and the GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides), used as prebiotics (substances intended to promote the growth of bifidobacteria and milk bacteria in the intestines) in many edible products.

The increased cheese production in the US generates as a consequence the availability of serum and, therefore, the possibility to extract a larger amount of lactose.

(This page has been realized with the contribute of Pier Luigi Vecchia, Food Technology expert)

 
US - Weekly prices of Lactose
Edible, Mostly Range - non Pharmaceutical
US $ per lb US $ per ton € per ton
min / max min / max ± on prev. price min / max ± on prev. price
Friday 12 Jul 2024
0,2875 / 0,3600 634 / 794 +0,39% 582 / 729 -0,22%
Friday 5 Jul 2024
0,2850 / 0,3600 628 / 794 +1,57% 580 / 733 +0,46%
Friday 28 Jun 2024
0,2800 / 0,3550 617 / 783 -0,78% 577 / 731 -0,94%
Friday 21 Jun 2024
0,2850 / 0,3550 628 / 783 0,00% 588 / 732 -0,02%
Friday 14 Jun 2024
0,2850 / 0,3550 628 / 783 -2,29% 588 / 732 -0,35%
Friday 7 Jun 2024
0,2850 / 0,3700 628 / 816 0,00% 577 / 748 -0,42%
Friday 31 May 2024
0,2850 / 0,3700 628 / 816 0,00% 579 / 752 -0,11%
Friday 24 May 2024
0,2850 / 0,3700 628 / 816 0,00% 580 / 753 +0,04%
Friday 17 May 2024
0,2850 / 0,3700 628 / 816 0,00% 579 / 752 -0,60%
Friday 10 May 2024
0,2850 / 0,3700 628 / 816 +0,77% 583 / 757 +0,44%
n.q.: not quoted price
Source: USDA
Informative note
  • MOSTLY RANGE: the price points where the majority of prices are clustered (it is intended to drop out the more extreme prices)
  • The conversion US $ / € for each quotation is calculated using the exchange rate of the previous day.
  • Prices Mostly, F.O.B. edible Carlot or Trucklot quantities in totes, 50 lb and 25 kg bags; since January 2010: prices mostly edible, non pharmaceutical including spot sales and up to 3 month contracts.
  • USDA pricing series is developed by gathering lactose prices in phone surveys with U.S. manufacturers and other industry contacts that are buying and selling truckload quantities of U.S. produced lactose. The lactose may be packaged in bags, totes or other packaging, but needs to be carlot/truckload quantities. The prices are for spot sales or short term (up to 3 month long) contracts. The transactions need to be first sales, FOB plant. The transactions may also include marketing agent sales. A mostly price series may be used to more closely define the majority of trades. The lactose needs to be edible and non-pharmaceutical, but is not separated further by mesh size or other quality grades. That is, the price series would include unground and ground lactose and a variety of mesh sizes, including 40 – 200 mesh, etc. [source: USDA]
USD

$/ton

2009 2014 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 % on prev. month % on 2023
January 309 1.323 816 655 906 893 1.027 591 +0,23% -42,42%
February 281 1.312 805 671 914 893 915 637 +7,69% -30,42%
March 291 1.317 805 683 945 904 786 653 +2,51% -16,97%
April 313 1.363 780 745 990 946 634 714 +9,38% +12,61%
May 338 1.317 734 877 992 962 570 721 +1,00% +26,38%
June 378 1.259 694 1.009 995 971 496 708 -1,76% +42,78%
July 442 1.208 681 1.138 1.010 1.003 434 712 +0,58% +64,13%
August 542 1.183 658 1.133 1.000 1.003 449
September 570 1.039 645 1.116 976 1.006 516
October 696 935 617 1.103 941 1.047 533
November 741 893 635 1.050 912 1.069 557
December 775 857 639 962 893 1.056 590
Jan - Jul 336 1.301 760 832 965 941 691 675
Change (1) -34,04% +287,19% -41,60% +9,46% +16,01% -2,46% -26,59% -2,36%
Jan - Dec 473 1.169 709 930 955 981 623
Change (1) -0,70% +147,08% -39,35% +31,13% +2,77% +2,71% -36,48%
USDA
The monthly, cumulative and annual prices are arithmetic averages calculated on the basis of the weekly prices.
1) change from the same period of previous year , except for years 2009, 2014, 2019, where the change is from the same period 5 years ago
  min price
max price
US - Weekly prices of Lactose
Edible, Price Range - non Pharmaceutical
US $ per lb US $ per ton € per ton
min / max min / max ± on prev. price min / max ± on prev. price
Friday 12 Jul 2024
0,2400 / 0,4250 529 / 937 +3,91% 486 / 860 +3,28%
Friday 5 Jul 2024
0,2400 / 0,4000 529 / 882 -4,48% 489 / 815 -5,53%
Friday 28 Jun 2024
0,2600 / 0,4100 573 / 904 +4,69% 535 / 844 +4,52%
Friday 21 Jun 2024
0,2300 / 0,4100 507 / 904 0,00% 474 / 846 -0,02%
Friday 14 Jun 2024
0,2300 / 0,4100 507 / 904 0,00% 475 / 846 +1,98%
Friday 7 Jun 2024
0,2300 / 0,4100 507 / 904 -3,03% 465 / 829 -3,44%
Friday 31 May 2024
0,2500 / 0,4100 551 / 904 +1,54% 508 / 833 +1,43%
Friday 24 May 2024
0,2400 / 0,4100 529 / 904 +3,17% 488 / 834 +3,21%
Friday 17 May 2024
0,2200 / 0,4100 485 / 904 +0,80% 447 / 834 +0,20%
Friday 10 May 2024
0,2150 / 0,4100 474 / 904 0,00% 440 / 839 -0,32%
n.q.: not quoted price
Source: USDA
Informative note
  • PRICE RANGE: the absolute lowest and highest price recorded