UK dairy trade balance update

Published 6 March 19

Milk production stayed at relatively high levels in 2018, supporting growth in exports. Butter, cheese and milk powders all saw higher export volumes, while cream and condensed milk exports fell on the year. Cheese saw the largest export growth in terms of tonnage, rising by over 18,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, cream and condensed milk exports fell by 3,000 tonnes each.

Imports fell for butter and milk powders, while imports of cheese, cream and condensed milk rose. Cheese saw the largest rise in the volume of imports, up 23,000 tonnes on the year.

The UK has been at a trade deficit for most of its key dairy products, meaning we import more than we export. In 2018, the trade deficit for all products - apart from butter and milk powders - worsened from the year before, as imports grew more than exports. While increased exports of butter and milk powders during the year helped to improve the UK dairy trade balance, these are relatively small markets compared to cheese.

UK Dairy Trade Balance - Article