EU dairy extra trade – Q3 2021

Read our report on the EU dairy extra trade until the third quarter of 2021. Take a look at increased butter purchases from the U.S. and declining exports to key suppliers. Learn about higher cheese imports to the EU, increased exports of SMP to Asian countries, and a notable decline in shipments of WMP to the UK. Discover also key buyers of the Polish dairy products and the largest shipments this year.

Butter exports

Between January and September 2021, the EU countries (excluding the UK) has exported a total of 139,975 tonnes of butter – 15% less than in the same period last year. While top buyers upped their purchases, some Middle Eastern partners have notably declined their orders in 2021. The main buyer of the EU butter was the U.S. with purchases down by 1% amounting to 32,419 tonnes, of which almost 78% was supplied by Ireland. China ranked second with a 22% increase in orders to a total of 14,397 tonnes, mainly delivered from France and the Netherlands. EU Butter exports to South Korea jumped by 39% from the same period last year and amounted to 8,027 tonnes, placing the country as the third-largest buyer. Almost 60% of the EU butter shipments to South Korea were sent by French producers. Taiwan and Indonesia also upped their orders for the EU product this year by 9% and 27% respectively.

However, other major buyers have decreased their purchases – the most significant declines were noted from Saudi Arabia and Ukraine, having ordered 47% and 48% respectively less butter than in the same period in 2020. Moreover, Morocco, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates have each decreased their orders of EU butter by around 35%. In the same period, Poland remained a major supplier of butter to Ukraine with 1,487 tonnes delivered and to Serbia with shipments amounting to 1,548 tonnes.

Butter imports

From the beginning of the year until September in 2021, the EU countries (excluding the UK) have imported 3,202 tonnes of butter – up by 165% from the previous year. The highest imports were noted in August, while the lowest orders took place in July. Up until August, the UK has delivered 10% less butter to the EU than in the same period of 2020 amounting to a total of 16,026 tonnes but remains the top supplier.

However, the EU has increased orders for butter from other key providers. The U.S. ranks as the second-largest supplier of butter to the EU with 1,356 tonnes delivered until September – up from 160 tonnes provided last year. In the same period, shipments from New Zealand jumped by 80% and from Iceland by 195%. Orders from Japan – last year’s key supplier – dropped by 90% to around 23 tonnes delivered until September.

Cheese exports

Between January and September 2021, the EU countries (excluding the UK) have exported 723,945 tonnes of cheese to third countries – a growth of 7% compared to the same period last year. Despite a 12% decline in orders, the UK still ranks as the top buyer of EU cheese, with orders for 277,934 tonnes of the product placed until August 2021. Between January and September, Ireland and France were the two main suppliers of the EU cheese to the UK with shipments amounting to 58,050 tonnes and 39,218 tonnes respectively. The UK also placed significant orders for cheese from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Italy. The second-largest buyer of the EU product was the U.S. with purchases up by 18% from the same period last year, amounting to 99,342 tonnes. Italy has provided 28% of all U.S. cheese orders and was also the third-largest EU supplier to third countries. The U.S. has also placed notable orders for cheese from the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. Germany was the largest provider of EU cheese to foreign countries and has supplied significant amounts to Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, and Chile in 2021. Key buyers have in general increased their orders for EU cheese, except for Japan and South Korea decreasing purchases by 5% and 8% respectively.

Ukraine increased its orders by 10% from the same period last year and purchased 37,683 tonnes of the product, supplied in almost 49% by Poland. The second-largest buyer from Poland was the UK, with deliveries amounting to 12,379 tonnes of cheese. Among key importers, China has noted the highest increase in EU cheese purchases – the country upped their orders by 64% to 30,935 tonnes, delivered mainly from Denmark.

Cheese imports

From the beginning of the year until September, total cheese imports into the EU (excluding the UK) amounted to 48,077 tonnes, representing a 13% increase in orders from the same period in 2020. Separately, the UK has provided 77,795 tonnes of the product to EU buyers until August, despite a 21% decline in deliveries. The second-largest supplier of cheese to EU countries was Switzerland, with an 11% increase in shipments to a total of 42,349 tonnes provided between January and September. The third-largest cheese provider was Serbia with a 25% growth in shipments amounting to 1,483 tonnes. Among the key providers, only Norway and the U.S. delivered less cheese than in the same period in the previous year. The orders placed with other suppliers have increased – most notably from New Zealand by over 465% and from Iceland by almost 370%. Additionally, cheese shipments from Bosnia-Herzegovina grew from 292 tonnes to 489 tonnes. The EU also increased orders for cheese from Turkey and Australia by 26% and 65% respectively.

Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) exports

Between January and September 2021, the EU exports (excluding the UK) of SMP amounted to 611,702 tonnes – down by 2% compared to the same period a year before. China was the largest buyer of the EU-origin product, with orders placed for 108,329 tonnes – up by 18% from last year. Key EU suppliers of SMP to China were France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Ireland. Algeria ranked as the second-largest importer of the EU product, despite a 21% decline in orders from last year. The country bought 78,444 tonnes of the product, of which 36,700 tonnes were supplied by Poland, making it the largest SMP order from a single provider country.

Other key buyers include Indonesia and the Philippines, both having upped their orders by 56% and 17% respectively. Both countries bought SMP mainly from Belgium, Germany, and France. Poland also delivered a significant order of 6,270 tonnes to the Philippines. Notable declines in EU SMP purchases were noted in Saudi Arabia, with purchases down by 29% and in Egypt by 15%. Until August, the shipments to the UK dropped by 51% and amounted to 9,054 tonnes in total.

Whole Milk Powder (WMP) exports

Up until the 3rd quarter of 2021, total shipments of EU-origin WMP (excluding UK-origin) equaled 223,229 tonnes – a decline of 10% compared to the same period last year. Despite a 6% decline in orders, the top buyer of the product was Oman with total purchases of 35,620 tonnes, supplied mainly by Sweden and Denmark. Sweden was the sixth-largest EU exporter of WMP in that period, and has delivered 98% of its WMP shipments to Oman. Nigeria ranked as the second-largest buyer from the EU with orders up by 32% to 20,919 tonnes, delivered in 53% from the Netherlands as well as from Denmark and France. China bought 44% more WMP than in the same period last year – total orders amounted to 17,717 tonnes delivered from the Netherlands, France, and Ireland.

Algeria declined orders for EU WMP by 61% to 13,171 tonnes, coming mainly from Belgium and France. Kuwait has also decreased the orders by 57% to 5,210 tonnes for which an almost exclusive supplier was the Netherlands having delivered 5,189 tonnes of the product. Shipments to the UK dropped by 39% to 12,234 tonnes, supplied primarily by France, Ireland, and the Netherlands. However, other key partners have increased their orders for the EU-origin product – Bangladesh upped the WMP deliveries by 66% and Ivory Coast by 44%. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates imported 18% more WMP than in the same period last year while Senegal increased imports by 31% and Singapore by 7%.