UK dairy exports plummeted by 10 percent last year as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted global trade, new figures show.
Exports of dairy products totalled 1.32 million tonnes in 2020, down 10 percent on 2019.
Exports were down across all the major product categories, but powders and concentrates had the sharpest decline, down 17% (29k tonnes).
Cheese exports were down 15k tonnes (7%) on the year, at 193k tonnes for 2020.
Analysing the figures, the AHDB said that although exports were down from the highs of 2019, most categories were at or above 2018 export levels.
"This reduction in trade is not surprising given the circumstances," said Katherine Jack, AHDB Dairy analyst.
"The pandemic disrupted trade and reduced demand in the UK and many other countries, impacting both UK imports and exports.
"Overall, the UK managed to maintain a small trade surplus in volume terms (33k tonnes) in 2020, which it achieved for the first time in 2019.
"However, it should be noted that this includes trade in milk crossing the Irish border for processing, which has been around 700-800k tonnes in recent years
"If this is excluded, the UK is in fact a net importer by a considerable amount," she added.
Figures show UK dairy imports also fell in 2020, down 6 percent on the year at 1.29m tonnes.