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Top 10 Butter Export Countries in the World

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Global sales from butter exports by country totalled US$5 billion in 2016.

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Among continents, European countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported butter during 2016 with shipments valued at $3.7 billion or three-quarters of the global total. In second place were Oceania exporters at 20.2% led by New Zealand followed by Australia.

Smaller percentages came from North America (1.7%), Asia (1.6%), Latin America excluding Mexico plus the Caribbean (1.4%) and Africa (0.2%).

The 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 040510 for butter. That code prefix excludes dehydrated butter and ghee; ghee means clarified butter (fat) made from the milk of a buffalo or cow and is commonly used in South Asian cooking.

Butter Exports by Country

Countries

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of butter during 2016:

  1. New Zealand: US$925.6 million (18.7% of total exported butter)
  2. Netherlands: $717.4 million (14.5%)
  3. Ireland: $602.1 million (12.1%)
  4. Germany: $453 million (9.1%)
  5. Belgium: $409 million (8.3%)
  6. France: $324.3 million (6.5%)
  7. Belarus: $297.2 million (6%)
  8. Denmark: $217.9 million (4.4%)
  9. Poland: $133.6 million (2.7%)
  10. United Kingdom: $131.4 million (2.7%)
  11. Finland: $118.9 million (2.4%)
  12. United States: $75.9 million (1.5%)
  13. Australia: $74.1 million (1.5%)
  14. Portugal: $59 million (1.2%)
  15. Spain: $46.7 million (0.9%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 92.5% of global butter exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing butter exporters since 2012 were: United Kingdom (up 117.1%), Belarus (up 44.5%), Finland (up 40.3%) and Belgium (up 24.4%).

Five countries posted declines in their exported butter sales over the 5-year period: United States (down -52.7%), Australia (down -50.8%), Denmark (down -23.5%), Spain (down -12.9%) and Portugal (down -11.3%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for butter during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported butter and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. New Zealand: US$916.2 million (net export surplus down -0.2% since 2012)
  2. Ireland: $583.2 million (up 10.3%)
  3. Netherlands: $351 million (down -6.4%)
  4. Belarus: $296.4 million (up 45.1%)
  5. Denmark: $170.6 million (down -19.4%)
  6. Finland: $116.5 million (up 57.3%)
  7. Belgium: $107.7 million (up 3354.3%)
  8. Poland: $90.8 million (up 26%)
  9. Portugal: $43.8 million (down -1.3%)
  10. Germany: $34.8 million (down -168.3%)
  11. Uruguay: $33.9 million (down -66.2%)
  12. Lithuania: $29.7 million (up 105.4%)
  13. Ukraine: $21.7 million (down -210.6%)
  14. Argentina: $14.8 million (down -75.1%)
  15. Switzerland: $14.5 million (down -35.6%)

New Zealand has the highest surplus in the international trade of butter. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms New Zealand’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.

Opportunities

The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for butter during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported butter purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. Russia: -US$340.4 million (net export deficit down -11.2% since 2012)
  2. France: -$249.2 million (down -5.2%)
  3. China: -$227.9 million (up 142.5%)
  4. Saudi Arabia: -$141.2 million (down -5.5%)
  5. United Kingdom: -$132.2 million (down -54.3%)
  6. Egypt: -$106.1 million (down -25%)
  7. Iran: -$101.9 million (down -53.2%)
  8. Canada: -$89.8 million (up 416.7%)
  9. Italy: -$89.5 million (up 6.1%)
  10. Morocco: -$78.5 million (down -19.8%)
  11. Taiwan: -$66 million (up 29%)
  12. Czech Republic: -$61 million (down -0.3%)
  13. United States: -$59.4 million (down -148.3%)
  14. Indonesia: -$58.3 million (up 86.6%)
  15. Singapore: -$57 million (down -1.3%)

Russia incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of butter. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Russia’s competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for butter-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.

Companies

Butter Exporting Companies

Below are global butter-producing cooperatives and multi-national dairy companies. Shown in parenthesis is the city and country where the headquarters for each business is located.

  • Arla Foods (Viby, Denmark)
  • Fonterra (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Lactalis (Laval, France)
  • Müller (Fischach, Germany)
  • Parmalat (Collecchio, Italy)
  • Zott (Mertingen, Germany)

Searchable List of Butter Exporting Countries

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the columns.

Rank Exporter 2016 Butter Exports % World Total
1. New Zealand US$925.6 million 18.7%
2. Netherlands $717.4 million 14.5%
3. Ireland $602.1 million 12.1%
4. Germany $453 million 9.1%
5. Belgium $409 million 8.3%
6. France $324.3 million 6.5%
7. Belarus $297.2 million 6%
8. Denmark $217.9 million 4.4%
9. Poland $133.6 million 2.7%
10. United Kingdom $131.4 million 2.7%
11. Finland $118.9 million 2.4%
12. United States $75.9 million 1.5%
13. Australia $74.1 million 1.5%
14. Portugal $59 million 1.2%
15. Spain $46.7 million 0.9%
16. Lithuania $38.1 million 0.8%
17. Uruguay $37.5 million 0.8%
18. Italy $31.8 million 0.6%
19. Ukraine $29 million 0.6%
20. Austria $21.8 million 0.4%
21. Singapore $15.9 million 0.3%
22. Argentina $15.2 million 0.3%
23. Switzerland $14.9 million 0.3%
24. Czech Republic $13.4 million 0.3%
25. United Arab Emirates $13 million 0.3%
26. Saudi Arabia $11.2 million 0.2%
27. Latvia $10.8 million 0.2%
28. Russia $9.3 million 0.2%
29. Mexico $8.5 million 0.2%
30. Malaysia $8.5 million 0.2%
31. Kyrgyzstan $7.6 million 0.2%
32. India $6.6 million 0.1%
33. Slovakia $6.6 million 0.1%
34. Hong Kong $6.6 million 0.1%
35. South Africa $6.4 million 0.1%
36. Estonia $4.8 million 0.1%
37. Moldova $4.7 million 0.1%
38. Chile $4.4 million 0.1%
39. Costa Rica $3.8 million 0.1%
40. Honduras $3.6 million 0.1%
41. Luxembourg $2.8 million 0.1%
42. Norway $2.7 million 0.1%
43. Sweden $2.6 million 0.1%
44. China $2.2 million 0.04%
45. Bulgaria $2.1 million 0.04%
46. Bolivia $1.8 million 0.04%
47. Croatia $1.6 million 0.03%
48. Turkey $1.5 million 0.03%
49. Bosnia/Herzegovina $1.5 million 0.03%
50.
Kuwait
$1.4 million
0.03%
51. Hungary $1.4 million 0.03%
52. Iceland $1.3 million 0.03%
53. Benin $1.3 million 0.03%
54. Romania $1.1 million 0.02%
55. Kazakhstan $937,000 0.02%
56. Serbia $934,000 0.02%
57. Greece $858,000 0.02%
58. Macedonia $845,000 0.02%
59. Georgia $606,000 0.01%
60. Thailand $472,000 0.01%
61. Oman $464,000 0.01%
62. Canada $452,000 0.01%
63. Paraguay $445,000 0.01%
64. Azerbaijan $436,000 0.01%
65. Morocco $422,000 0.01%
66. Nicaragua $393,000 0.01%
67. Kenya $353,000 0.01%
68. Iran $337,000 0.01%
69. Indonesia $313,000 0.01%
70. Brazil $305,000 0.01%
71. Slovenia $259,000 0.01%
72. Uganda $251,000 0.01%
73. Ghana $230,000 0.005%
74. Fiji $218,000 0.004%
75. Bahrain $209,000 0.004%
76. Senegal $113,000 0.002%
77. Egypt $98,000 0.002%
78. Brunei Darussalam $98,000 0.002%
79. Ethiopia $91,000 0.002%
80. Lebanon $79,000 0.002%
81. El Salvador $57,000 0.001%
82. Philippines $50,000 0.001%
83. Japan $49,000 0.001%
84. Pakistan $46,000 0.001%
85. Taiwan $38,000 0.001%
86. Namibia $34,000 0.001%
87. Zimbabwe $32,000 0.001%
88. Turkmenistan $29,000 0.001%
89. South Korea $26,000 0.001%
90. Suriname $25,000 0.001%
91. Bangladesh $22,000 0.0004%
92. Jordan $18,000 0.0004%
93. Vietnam $18,000 0.0004%
94. Togo $17,000 0.0003%
95. Madagascar $15,000 0.0003%
96. Cyprus $12,000 0.0002%
97. Aruba $8,000 0.0002%
98. Guatemala $6,000 0.0001%
99. Bermuda $4,000 0.0001%
100.
Mozambique
$3,000
0.0001%
101. Burkina Faso $3,000 0.0001%
102. Armenia $2,000 0.00004%
103. Colombia $2,000 0.00004%
104. Sri Lanka $2,000 0.00004%
105. Botswana $1,000 0.00002%
106. Cameroon $1,000 0.00002%
107. Jamaica $1,000 0.00002%
108. Israel $1,000 0.00002%
109. Nepal $1,000 0.00002%
110. Mauritius $1,000 0.00002%
111. Qatar $1,000 0.00002%
112. Venezuela $1,000 0.00002%
Research Sources:

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 12, 2017

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 12, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 12, 2017

Wikipedia, Category: Multinational dairy companies. Accessed on August 12, 2017

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