UK butter and cheese production rose significantly in September, by 26% and 10% respectively, according to Defra figures, while liquid milk was up 1%.

About 1.17 billion litres of milk was used for Cheddar production, up 5.9% from September 2009. Less milk was used for short-life territorial cheeses such as brie (down 8% year-on-year to 44.7 million litres), but production of blue vein cheese was up about 5% and long-life ­territorials almost 6%.

New data released for August also shows imports of cheese other than Cheddar into the UK for the first eight months of 2010 rose 11% year-on-year.

Processed cheese showed the biggest increase, up 20% to 31,729 tonnes, followed by blue vein (up 19%) and Grana types (up 17%).

The biggest decline was in sheep and buffalo cheeses, down 40% year-on-year to 1,601 tonnes, and Feta, which was down 15%.

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