UK Dairy Imports

Published 16 October 18

In August 2018:

  • UK imports of Cheddar totalled 9,142 tonnes, 222 tonnes (2%) less than the same month last year.
  • Speciality cheese imports reached 34,548 tonnes in the month, an increase of 2,336 tonnes (7%) compared with the same month last year.
  • Butter imports fell 5% on the year, totalling 4,214 tonnes for the month.
UK dairy imports (tonnes)
  Cheddar cheese Speciality cheese Butter
Aug-17 9,364 32,212 4,447
Aug-18 9,142 34,548 4,214
% Change -2.4% 7.3% -5.2%
Jan-Aug 17 59,909 251,587 35,985
Jan-Aug 18 69,367 265,085 37,820
% Change 15.8% 5.4% 5.1%

Source: HMRC

Note: All data subject to retrospective changes. There may be marginal differences in percentages due to rounding


Cumulative imports: January-August 2018

  • Cumulative imports of Cheddar for Jan-Aug 2018 stood at 69,367 tonnes, an increase of 9,458 tonnes (16%) from the previous year. The increase was mostly due to higher imports from Ireland, with a total of 60,643 tonnes imported in the eight months to August, 16% above the same period last year. 
  • Overall, cumulative imports of speciality cheese were up by 13,499 tonnes (5%) compared to the same period last year. EU sources accounted for most of the increase, particularly France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. However, the increased volumes from these sources were offset by a 22% drop in imports from the Irish Republic, amounting to 7,955 fewer tonnes over the first eight months of 2018. Higher volumes of unripened fresh cheeses made up the bulk of the growth in speciality cheese imports. There was a drop in imports of processed, grated and powdered cheese products.
  • Cumulative butter imports were 1,836 tonnes (5%) higher compared to volumes imported in Jan-Aug 2017. This has been driven by a boost in imports from the Netherlands in June and July, putting its year-to-date figure 2,421 tonnes (119%) ahead of last year. This was partly counterbalanced by reduced imports from Denmark and Poland. 75 tonnes of butter was imported from NZ in June, which is the only butter imported from outside the EU so far this year - down from 707 tonnes imported by this time a year ago. 

UK Dairy Imports

Source: PTF/HMRC

  Data from Jan-14 onwards sourced from HMRC, data from Jan-18 has been revised.