The UK dairy trade balance in May produced a surplus for the first time since May 2012, as imports fell by 16% and exports increased by 15% over the past year.

“Strong milk production and healthy global demand has allowed the UK to increase exports while displacing some imports,” said a report by DairyCo. The surplus increased to more than 328t.

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“The Russian ban on imported dairy products will have little direct impact on the UK market as less than 1% of UK cheese export volumes are destined for Russia.

However, there is likely to be some downward pressure on wholesale dairy prices in the UK, through their link with EU wholesale markets, which will be more directly affected.”

Russia was a key export destination for EU cheese (excluding fresh cheese) and butter, taking in about 27% and 19% respectively of the total volume of EU exports in 2013, said the report.

“However, unless Russian consumer purchasing patterns change significantly, the supply gap created by the ban should be filled by other exporting countries, creating market opportunities elsewhere.”