Irish butter exports to UK up almost 50%
UK imports of Irish cheese were down for the first four months of 2015, but imports of Irish butter rose almost 50%.
The figures from the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK show that UK imports of cheddar totalled 9,084t for April, down on the same month a year earlier by 494t (-5.2%).
Speciality cheese imports reached 33,063t, an increase of 2,852t (9.4%) compared with the same month last year.
Butter imports amounted to 4,885t, some 1,180t (31.9%) more than in the corresponding month a year earlier.
Cumulative imports of cheddar stood at 27,102t, a decrease of 9,886t (-26.7%) from the previous year. Imports from Ireland were 1,842t (-7.7%) lower than the same period in 2014.
Overall, cumulative imports of speciality cheese were up by 2,786t (2.3%) compared to the same period in 2014 for dairy produce.
Imports from the Netherlands increased by 1,615t (22.2%) while imports from France decreased by 1,549t (-4.3%). Imports of Edam increased by 342t (11.7%).
Cumulative butter imports increased by 2,548t to 19,823t (14.7%) compared to volumes imported over the same months last year.
Imports originating from Ireland were up by 3,901t (49.3%). Irish milk deliveries increased by 4% in the first four months of 2015 as the end of milk quotas was in sight, with April seeing a jump in deliveries of 14%.