UK Dairy Imports

Published 17 January 19

In November 2018:

  • UK imports of Cheddar totalled 8,241 tonnes, 363 tonnes (5%) more than the same month last year.
  • Speciality cheese imports reached 34,680 tonnes in the month, a decrease of 2,096 tonnes (6%) compared with the same month last year.
  • Butter imports rose 24% on the year, totalling 6,135 tonnes for the month.
UK dairy imports (tonnes)
  Cheddar cheese Speciality cheese Butter
Nov-17 7,878 36,777 4,957
Nov-18 8,241 34,680 6,135
% Change 4.6% -5.7% 23.8%
Jan-Nov 17 84,516 352,357 53,370
Jan-Nov 18 96,634 360,938 54,123
% Change 14.3% 2.4% 1.4%

Source: HMRC

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


Cumulative imports: January-November 2018

  • Cumulative imports of Cheddar for Jan-Nov 2018 stood at 96,634 tonnes, an increase of 12,119 tonnes (14%) from the previous year. The increase was mostly due to higher imports from Ireland, with a total of 85,108 tonnes imported in the eleven months to November, 15% above the same period last year. 
  • Overall, cumulative imports of speciality cheese were up by 8,581 tonnes (2%) compared to the same period last year. EU sources accounted for most of the increase, particularly France, Germany, Cyprus, Italy, and the Netherlands. However, the increased volumes from these sources were offset by a 25% drop in imports from the Irish Republic, amounting to 12,316 fewer tonnes over the first eleven months of 2018. Higher volumes of unripened fresh cheeses, as well as unspecified 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 753 tonnes (1%) higher compared to volumes imported in Jan-Nov 2017. There have been elevated imports from the Netherlands since May, putting its year-to-date figure 5,067 tonnes (164%) ahead of last year. This has been somewhat counterbalanced by reduced imports from Ireland and Denmark, which together are down 4,354 tonnes (11%) on last year. 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 732 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.