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EU butter exports positive in volume and value

EU butter exports were booming in July this year; the month saw a volume increase of 18.1% compared to the previous year, thereby confirming the product’s positive trend which registered a growth rate of 36% in the first seven months of the year as well as an increase in export value of 26.3%. Other products to increase in volume in the month of July were milk and cream (+13.7%), whey powder (+11.5%), cheese (+6.3%) and infant formula (+5.7%). Whole and skimmed milk powder, however, decreased by 2% and 28% respectively. Although the total volume of exports of EU dairy products registered an increase of 7.7%, the value of exports – still in the first seven months of the year – fell by 2.2% (7,957 million euros against the 8,187 million of the previous year), with a trade surplus of 7,505 million euros resulting from a fall in imports of 6.6%.
Let’s return to EU butter whose main importers are Saudi Arabia and China. Despite its 28% increase in imports (16,342 tonnes in the first seven months of 2016 compared to 12,783 the previous year), Saudi Arabia is about to be overtaken by China, which has seen a marked increase in product quantities imported from the Old Continent (from 2,704 tonnes in the first seven months of 2014 to 16,195 tonnes in 2016). Egypt holds third place having imported 12,770 tonnes of product from January to July this year – an increase of 22% compared to the same period the previous year. Fourth place goes to the United States, a mature market which is growing although not at an astonishing rate (10,741 tonnes in 2016 compared to 9,415 the previous year and a growth rate of 14%). Fifth in the ranking is Morocco. Despite the decrease – albeit small – in exports to the north African country in the first seven months of 2015 if compared to 2014 (3,275 tonnes against 3,678), from January to July this year EU butter performed well with exports totalling 7,000 tonnes – an increase of 117%.