Imports of cheese into the UK stayed above the prior year for the second month in succession, but last year’s tonnages were weak immediately post-Brexit. February imports were however slightly below the monthly average since the volume of trade settled into a more regular volume from May 2021. Butter imports also improved on the prior year, but on an annualised basis were down 28% on the previous year.
Exports meanwhile were generally stronger. Cheese exports continued a recent turnaround, ahead 22% in February, but remained 12% weaker on a rolling 12-month basis, while butterfat trade also improved in the month and were just 2.5% lower on an annualised basis. Tighter milk supplies and the priority given to cheese production has left less milk powders for export customers. SMP exports were 24% lower in the month and were 23% weaker on an annualised basis.