Emmenthal volume doubles due to rising imports from France Speciality cheese imports smash previous records Despite a 6% drop in December, imports of speciality cheeses last year broke all previous records. Just under 183,000 tonnes were imported during the year, a rise of over 11%. Fresh cheeses, which dominate these imports, rose by 13% to nearly 59,000 tonnes. Other growth areas included Edam (up by 6%), grated and powdered cheeses (up 11%), Esrom and St Paulin (up 19%) and Emmenthal, which more than doubled due to rising imports from France. Blue vein cheese also proved popular with rising imports from Denmark, France and Italy. Cheddar imports, which rose by 2% in the first 10 months of 2001, tapered off in the last two months of the year, probably due to falling UK market prices, and annual imports were eventually down by 3% to just under 85,000 tonnes. Supplies of Cheddar from Ireland, the main source, also reflected this tapering off in November and December and the annual total was only 1% up on 2000 at 55,000 tonnes. Cheese exports from the UK were hampered for most of the year by the cloud of foot and mouth disease. A strong recovery showed through towards the end of the year, with particularly strong growth year-on-year in December of 47%. Final annual exports of 70,200 tonnes were over 6% higher than in 2000. Imports of butter during 2001 also showed an increase and rose 8% to 105,000 tonnes. Most of this increase came from the two largest suppliers, Denmark and New Zealand, up by 11% and 7% respectively. Imports from Ireland also rose by 10%. Butter exports from the UK suffered both from poor markets and the effects of foot and mouth disease and fell back by over 20% to 21,000 tonnes. {{CANNED GOODS }}