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UK butter trade

Updated 20 March 2020

Data on UK trade in butter is provided here to give an overview of recent activity. Monthly import and export volumes are reported, split by product group and trading regions. 

Overview: January 2020

  • The UK had a butter trade surplus of 523 tonnes in January 2020, compared to an 837 tonne surplus in January 2019.
  • In January 2020, imports of butter were 20% lower than a year previous.
  • In January 2020, butter exports rose compared to the month before, but were 22% down on January 2019.
  • As most butter trade is done with the EU, coronavirus was not an influence on trade in January.
  • For the full year 2019, export volumes were up 11% on 2018, while import volumes were down 6%.


  • The UK imported 5,590 tonnes of butter in January, down 20% on January 2019.
  • Dairy butter (bulk and block) remains the primary form of imported butter, making up 82% of total import volumes coming into the UK in January.
  • Imports of dairy butter, dairy spreads*, and other milkfats (incl. AMF) were all down on January 2019.
  • Imports of ‘other butter’ totalled 432 tonnes in January 2020, up 36% on a year previous.


  • Exports of butter from the UK picked up again in January 2020, at 6,113 tonnes. This was a 73% increase on December 2019, but still 22% below January 2019 exports.
  • The year-on-year decline in exports for January 2020 was seen across all our butter categories. Dairy butter (bulk/blocks), the largest category, was down 25% (1,239 tonnes).
  • The large increase in exports to non-EU destinations seen in the latter part on 2019 continued into the New Year. 1,037 tonnes were exported to non-EU destinations in January 2020, nearly triple the amount exported in January 2019.

Additional information

*The dairy spreads trade category does not include Lurpak imports, which are traded under a non-dairy code

Visit the UK cheese trade page Visit the UK dairy trade balance page

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UK butter trade