The US is the second most important export market for dairy products from the UK outside of the EU, both in terms of volume and value.
The UK is currently a net exporter of dairy products to the US according to HMRC data. In 2020, 9,300 tonnes of dairy products were exported to the US from the UK, valued at £52 million. Exports were predominantly of cheese (81%), while butter accounted for 13%. The remainder was made up of other dairy products such as whey. Cheese also contributed the most to the value of exports in 2020 (85%) with Cheddar being the predominate variety.
Import volumes of dairy products entering the UK from the US were up year-on-year, although remain small at 562 tonnes. This was primarily made up of whey products (94%).
The volume of exports in 2020 did drop back on year earlier levels which may be, in part, due to tariffs being imposed on dairy products as a result of the Airbus dispute back in 2019.
The relatively weak US dollar, which has been losing value against both the euro and sterling over the past year, may also have reduced import demand as UK exports would be comparatively more expensive.
However, with the majority of UK cheese exports being value-added products, and directed towards consumer markets, demand is likely to be less sensitive to price, helping to mitigate the impact of tariffs or exchange rate fluctuations.