These 8 countries that produce the most butter in the world account for the greatest share of the global commodity output.
Latest data from the US’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) show that the global dairy market will continue to face a few challenges. Low import demand, coupled with excess supplies will keep milk and dairy product prices at low levels. FAS also predicts that output of some dairy products such as skimmed milk powder and whole milk powder will suffer due to the Russian food ban of products from Western countries, and weak demand from China. Although butter has also been affected by Russian sanctions (last year Russia imported 38 percent less butter compared to 2014), it is expected that at the end of 2016 the commodity output will record two percent increase. In terms of export quantities, butter occupies the fifth place among dairy product.
Last year around 790,000 tons were shipped globally, which is a slight decrease compared to 2014. Among three major butter markets, EU, US, and New Zealand, only European countries recorded a significant rise in export in 2015, which is expected to continue to increase by 10 percent this year reaching 210,000 tons. Shipments to China and Hong Kong greatly contributed to this rise, while the United States and Saudi Arabia have remained the main importers of EU butter. However, low domestic demand in EU states led to growing ending stocks last year. According to latest assessments, the product’s stocks have been declining at the beginning of 2016. After suffering a sharp decline of some 70 percent in butter export, the US is expected to recover in 2016 as a result of lowering prices which were kept well above global level during the last year. New Zealand also saw a decline in butter export due to lower demand from Saudi Arabia and China, which started to rely more on EU countries as suppliers.
Before we present you main commodity producers, let’s take a quick look at butter history and its modern usage. Butter, whose use dates back to the times when people first started to domesticate animals, was not only consumed as food, but it was also used as a beauty product and medicine. Our ancestors applied butter on the face to smother the skin. They also used it as a kind of gel to make their hair look shiny. Butter healing properties were exploited in cases of skin infections and eye problems. Finally, the commodity was included in religious ceremonies while Chinese saw it as an embodiment of Buda’s spirit.
Although in modern world butter is present in almost all cousins, the debate whether it is good or bad for health is very much alive. On one side there is a pile of studies claiming that butter decreases risks of cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis. On the other, there is a prevalent belief that saturated fats in butter are bad for the heart. In addition, some studies have linked consumption of dairy fats with impaired cognitive ability. Although scientists cannot find common ground on whether butter is healthy or not, the majority of them agrees that moderate consumption can do no harm. So if you are a butter lover there is no reason why you should not treat yourself occasionally with blubbery butter cake or muffins. And while you eat this delicious dessert you can read our previous ranking of 10 countries that produce the most blueberries in the world.
In creating the list of 8 countries that produce the most butter we relied on FAS’s report about global commodity production. Since FAS groups EU countries as one entity, we also used Clal’s data about butter production in EU member states. Finally, information about butter export were found at Trade Map.