In a surprise move the EU Commission has announced widespread cuts in export subsidies for almost all dairy products.

The cuts were blamed on the rising value of the US dollar and on a general rise in dairy product prices.

Most cuts were in the region of 4% to 5%, however hardest hit were cheese exporters where refunds for cheddar, for example, came down by 9.8%

Strong protests have been lodged from dairy exporters across the EU against the decision to backdate cuts by one week which has left traders who signed export contracts during this period out of pocket.