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Dairy industry in the UK: Statistics

Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Key statistics and current trends for the UK dairy industry, including farm-gate prices, UK herd size, production, international trade and domestic consumption.

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This briefing paper sets out key statistics and current trends for the UK dairy industry, including farm-gate prices, UK herd size, production, international trade and domestic consumption.

  • The UK is the third-largest milk producer in the EU after Germany and France, and the tenth-largest producer in the world.
  • Milk accounted for 17.8% of total agricultural output in the UK in 2014, and was worth £4.6bn in market prices.
  • The total number of UK dairy cows has fallen from 2.6 million in 1996 to 1.9 million in 2015, a 27% reduction.
  • The UK produced 14.6 billion litres of milk in 2014, the highest annual figure since 1990.
  • In 2014, the UK had a negative trade balance in butter and cheese, but a positive trade balance in milk and cream.
  • Farm-gate milk prices for August 2015 were 23.3 pence per litre, the lowest monthly figure since August 2009.
  • Between 1995 and 2015, doorstep delivery has declined from 45% to 3% of the retail milk market.

Commons Briefing papers SN02721

Authors: Carl Baker; Alex Bate

Topics: Agriculture, Food

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