UK Dairy Imports

Published 14 June 18

In April 2018:

  • UK imports of Cheddar totalled 7,255 tonnes, 27 tonnes (0.4%) more than the same month last year.
  • Speciality cheese imports reached 31,501 tonnes in the month, an increase of 1,231 tonnes (4%) compared with the same month last year.
  • Butter imports rose 45% on the year, totalling 5,187 tonnes for the month.
UK dairy imports (tonnes)
  Cheddar cheese Speciality cheese Butter
Apr-17 7,227 30,270 3,588
Apr-18 7,255 31,501 5,187
% Change 0.4% 4.1% 44.6%
Jan-Apr 17 22,614 118,682 16,179
Jan-Apr 18 30,454 123,247 17,239
% Change 34.7% 3.8% 6.5%


Source: HMRC

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


Cumulative imports: January-April 2018

  • Cumulative imports of Cheddar for Jan-Apr 2018 stood at 30,454 tonnes, an increase of 7,839 tonnes (35%) from the previous year. The increase was mostly due to higher imports from Ireland, with a total of 26,451 tonnes imported in the four months to April, 39% above the same period last year. 
  • Overall, cumulative imports of speciality cheese were up by 4,566 tonnes (4%) 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 39% drop in imports from the Irish Republic, amounting to 6,931 tonnes over the first four 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 1,060 tonnes (7%) higher compared to volumes imported in Jan-Apr 2017. This was driven by imports from Ireland which were up 22% (2,106 tonnes) on the year, though this was counterbalanced by reduced exports from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. This increase is also in spite of no butter being imported from outside the EU in the first quarter of 2018, compared to 408 tonnes in 2017, nearly all of which was from NZ. 

UK Dairy Imports

Source: PTF/HMRC

  Data from Jan-14 onwards sourced from HMRC, data from Jan-17 has been revised.