UK cheese exports see major boost in early 2019

The EU remains the primary export destination for UK cheese
The EU remains the primary export destination for UK cheese

Exports of UK cheese rose considerably in the first quarter of 2019, up 14 percent compared to last year and 22 percent on 2017.

57,000 tonnes of cheese were exported during January to March this year, figures from AHDB Dairy shows.

After dipping in the middle of 2018, it appears quarterly exports have perked back up.

The EU remains the primary export destination for UK cheese, and exports to the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium increased compared to Q1 2018.



Exports to Ireland were down, though this is after a strong performance in 2018.

Further afield, the UK increased its exports to both China and the US, though in relatively small amounts.



Total exports to non-EU destinations were slightly down on Q1 2018, but higher than other quarters of 2018.

UK milk production ran high through the winter, and increased product availability could have helped boost cheese exports in January-March 2019.

AHDB Dairy says it is also possible that exports received a boost from Brexit uncertainty, as foreign buyers may have sought to stock up before the expected leave date in April.

If this is the case, the sector might see a drop off in exports next quarter since buyers will already be supplied.