April 26, 2018
2017 a strong year for UK cheese exports
UK cheese exports in 2017 rose 23% in value compared with 2016, surpassing the £615 million mark, according to the latest figures from HMRC ((Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs).
In terms of volume, cheese exports rose 5% from 2016, reaching just over 170,000 tonnes. While cheddar continued to dominate exports, fresh cheeses - particularly mozzarella - saw strong export growth during the year.
The biggest share of exports was shipped to European markets, with Ireland, France and the Netherlands remaining the most important destinations. Shipments to Germany declined, although replaced by increased sales to Denmark and Poland.
There was also an increase in cheese exports to Asia, mainly to the Philippines, with volumes up 27% year-on-year. The relatively high increase in average prices in these markets meant the value of cheddar exports rose by 57% over the year.
Lucy Randolph, senior export manager of the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), said the latest figures are a testament to the high-quality cheese produced in the UK and the growing reputation of the country's dairy products.
"While the EU is still our main market and is vital for UK dairy exports, it is encouraging to see both volumes and value increase outside of Europe", she said.
The AHDB export team is attending the four-day international trade show Food and Hotel Asia in Singapore, which ends Friday, April 27, and is joined by nine producers from the UK who are exhibiting premium cheese and dairy products to more than 40,000 trade delegates.