Where does our cheese come from? - Produit Actualité Eurostat

null Where does our cheese come from?


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The EU Member States used 17.4 million tonnes of skimmed milk together with 58.1 million tonnes of whole milk to produce 10.2 million tonnes of cheese in 2017. Over 90% of the cheese was produced from pure cow’s milk, with 2% from pure ewes’ or pure goats’ milk.

Fresh cheese represented the largest share of total EU cheese production (34%, or 3.5 million tonnes of cheese), followed by medium hard cheese (26%, or 2.7 million tonnes) and hard cheese (19%, or 1.9 million tonnes).

Among the EU Member States, Germany produced the most cheese (2.2 million tonnes, or 22% of the EU total), closely followed by France (1.9 million tonnes, or 19%) and Italy (1.3 million tonnes, or 12%). Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland together produced 70% of all cheese manufactured in the EU.

Infographics: Cheese production

The source dataset is accessible here.

Majority of trade in cheese took place within the EU

Almost 5.2 million tonnes of cheese, worth €20.8 billion, were exported by the EU Member States in 2017. Most of these (4.4 million tonnes) were traded within the EU.

Among the EU Member States, Germany was the largest cheese exporter (1.2 million tonnes exported in 2017, or 23% of the total EU Member States exports), followed by the Netherlands (0.9 million tonnes, 17%) and France (0.7 million tonnes, 13%).

Infographics: Cheese trade

The source dataset is accessible here.


Main recipients of cheese exported outside of EU

In 2017, 830 000 tonnes of EU cheese were exported to non-EU countries. The United States took 140 000 tonnes, or 17% of the total extra-EU exports of cheese, ahead of Japan (95 000 tonnes, 11%), Switzerland (60 000 tonnes, 7%), South Korea (45 000 tonnes, 5%) and Saudi Arabia (40 000 tonnes, also around 5%).


EU mainly imports cheese from Switzerland

In 2017, Switzerland accounted for almost 90% of EU’s cheese imports from non-EU countries (52 000 tonnes, 87% of the total extra-EU imports of cheese). Switzerland was followed by New Zealand (2 000 tonnes, 4%) and Norway (2 000 tonnes, 3%).


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