Little improvement in UK dairy supplies in 2022 - AHDB

Milk production remained low in the first half of 2022
calendar icon 5 October 2022
clock icon 2 minute read


According to Patty Clayton, AHDB lead dairy analyst, available supplies of manufactured dairy products in the UK saw little growth in the first half of 2022 as milk production remained low. Supplies of butter dropped, while both cheese and milk powder supplies saw small increases, although due to different shifts in production and trade.

Milk deliveries in the UK for the first six months of 2022 were 1.9% below previous year levels, equivalent to a drop of 145m litres. Average fat and protein content have been roughly on par with year earlier levels over the same period.

In response to lower milk supplies, production of both butter and milk powders dropped for H1 2022. Butter production was 3% lower on the year, and with little change in trade volumes, this has tightened supplies available to the market. Milk powder production was also lower in H1. This will have been partly due to lower milk production but also high energy costs. However, reduced export tonnage offset some of the lost production, meaning there was a small year on year increase in available supplies.

Meanwhile, cheese production increased in the first half of the year on an annual basis, up 5,000 tonnes on last year’s record high of 260,000 tonnes. Imports were up 8% on the year, likely on the back of higher demand from the foodservice industry as covid restrictions were removed. Exports also saw some recovery following the drop in 2021 caused by Brexit. These were up 18,000 tonnes on the year, a 25% increase on the first half of 2021, and at a similar level to shipments in H1 2020.

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