UK dairy trade

Updated 19 November 2021

This page gives quarterly overview of UK dairy trade. For a detailed look at the latest monthly data please visit our dairy trade dashboard

Latest dairy trade news

Imports

Please note: as of January 2021 data, HMRC trade data collection and processing has changed, which has impacted trade statistics. Comparisons between this and historic data should be treated with caution, as the data is likely to be subject to future revisions.

table of UK dairy imports Jan-Sep
graph of UK dairy imports Jan-Sep

Exports

Please note: as of January 2021 data, HMRC trade data collection and processing has changed, which has impacted trade statistics. Comparisons between this and historic data should be treated with caution, as the data is likely to be subject to future revisions.

table of UK dairy exports Jan-Sep
graph of UK dairy exports Jan-Sep

Overview

  • The new trade environment seen from 1 Jan 2021 caused significant disruption to UK dairy trade. After the initial shock, there was some recovery through the first part of the year, but trade volumes have broadly stabilised in the last few months. Overall, Q3 2021 exports were down 10% on the year.
  • Most categories were down on the year for Q3, but two are in growth – Powders and concentrates (+16% yoy) and Butter and other fats (+34% yoy). This is partly due to relatively low Q3 2020 exports. .
  • Exports in the Milk and Cream category, of which the vast majority is raw milk crossing the NI/IE border, have dropped away in Q3 after two strong quarters. This category was up 2% year-on-year for H1 2021, driven by Q1 exports. In Q3, exports were down 15% on Q3 2020, despite higher NI milk production in the quarter.
  • Dairy exports to EU countries totalled 233.1k tonnes in Q3 2021, down 12% on the year. Meanwhile, exports to non-EU countries totalled 31.4k tonnes in Q1 2021, up 13% on the year.
  • Total cheese exports in Q3 2021 totalled just under 39k tonnes, down 16% on the year. Year to date, cheese exports remain 19% lower than for the first three quarters of 2020, although pre-Brexit trade may have boosted 2020 figures.

Additional information

Further publication of the trade data is prohibited, unless expressly permitted by IHS Maritime & Trade.

Visit our UK dairy trade dashboard

Visit the UK dairy trade balance page

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