UK Dairy Imports

Published 12 July 19

In May 2019:

  • UK imports of Cheddar totalled 9,247 tonnes, 620 tonnes (6%) less than the same month last year.
  • Speciality cheese imports reached 31,615 tonnes in the month, a decrease of 2,389 tonnes (7%) compared with the same month last year.
  • Butter imports fell by 34% on the year, totalling 3,312 tonnes for the month.
UK dairy imports (tonnes)
  Cheddar cheese Speciality cheese Butter
May-18 9,867 34,004 4,993
May-19 9,247 31,615 3,312
% Change -6.3% -7.0% -33.7%
Jan-May 18 40,147 157,898 22,181
Jan-May 19 51,407 163,537 25,830
% Change 28.0% 3.6% 16.5%

Source: HMRC

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


Cumulative imports: January-May 2019

  • Cumulative imports of Cheddar for the year so far stood at 51,407 tonnes, an increase of 11,261 tonnes (28%) from the previous year. The increase was due to higher imports from Ireland, particularly in the first quarter of 2019. 48,438 tonnes have been imported from Ireland so far, 38% more than the same period in 2018.
  • Overall, cumulative imports of speciality cheese were up by 5,639 tonnes (4%) compared to the same period last year. This growth came from EU sources, particularly France, Ireland, Italy, and Poland. Higher volumes of unspecified cheeses made up the bulk of the growth in speciality cheese imports, as well as unripened grated and powdered cheeses. There was a drop in imports of Feta and Edam.
  • Cumulative butter imports were 25,830 tonnes for the year so far, 16% higher than in 2018. That said, imports have started to move more in line with year-ago figures. Imports from Germany and the Netherlands make up the bulk of the growth.  Dutch imports total 4,207 tonnes for the year so far - 188% more than same period last year. 3,514 tonnes have been imported from Germany, over 4 times more than in the same period last year. This is mainly due to the difference in Q1 imports, as Q1 2018 was particularly low. 

UK Dairy Imports

Source: PTF/HMRC

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