UK Dairy Imports

Published 14 November 18

In September 2018:

  • UK imports of Cheddar totalled 10,067 tonnes, 479 tonnes (5%) more than the same month last year.
  • Speciality cheese imports reached 31,949 tonnes in the month, a decrease of 2,106 tonnes (6%) compared with the same month last year.
  • Butter imports fell 22% on the year, totalling 4,637 tonnes for the month.
UK dairy imports (tonnes)
  Cheddar cheese Speciality cheese Butter
Sep-17 9,587 34,055 5,940
Sep-18 10,067 31,949 4,637
% Change 5.0% -6.2% -21.9%
Jan-Sep 17 69,497 285,641 41,924
Jan-Sep 18 79,482 294,843 42,560
% Change 14.4% 3.2% 1.5%

Source: HMRC

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


Cumulative imports: January-September 2018

  • Cumulative imports of Cheddar for Jan-Sep 2018 stood at 79,482 tonnes, an increase of 9,986 tonnes (14%) from the previous year. The increase was mostly due to higher imports from Ireland, with a total of 61,038 tonnes imported in the nine months to September, 15% above the same period last year. 
  • Overall, cumulative imports of speciality cheese were up by 9,202 tonnes (3%) compared to the same period last year. EU sources accounted for most of the increase, particularly France, Germany, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Denmark. However, the increased volumes from these sources were offset by a 25% drop in imports from the Irish Republic, amounting to 10,342 fewer tonnes over the first nine 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 636 tonnes (2%) higher compared to volumes imported in Jan-Sep 2017. This has been driven by elevated imports from the Netherlands since May, putting its year-to-date figure 3,251 tonnes (143%) 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.