The largest exporter of cheese is France, followed by Germany. In 2018, France exported 533,008 tonnes of cheeses worldwide, making them the biggest seller according to data from the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database and the International Dairy Federation. Germany came in second with exports of 468,209 tonnes. The Netherlands (421,548 tonnes),
Italy (407,890 tonnes) and the United States (274,347 tonnes) rounded out the top five largest exporters of cheese. Not far behind were New Zealand (232,161 tonnes), Denmark (207,804 tonnes), Ireland (183,451 tonnes) and Poland (148,926 tonnes). All of these countries have a long and well-established history of cheese production, which has been handed down through generations of cheesemakers. The international demand for European cheeses is on the rise, making France, Germany and the other top exporters the world leaders in cheese exports.
In addition to exporting its own products, France also imports a variety of cheeses from other countries. In 2018, France imported 742,770 tonnes of cheese from around the world, mainly from Germany (284,521 tonnes) and Netherlands (158,913 tonnes). Other top importers included Italy (111,422 tonnes), Ireland (79,686 tonnes), Belgium (69,590 tonnes), and the United States (57,945 tonnes). Many French cheeses are also exported to other countries – Roquefort is a famous example of a French cheese that is widely exported.
The global demand for French cheese continues to be strong, and France will likely remain the world leader in cheese exports for many years to come.
Which country is the largest producer of cheese?
The United States is the largest producer of cheese in the world. The country produced 4.33 million metric tons of cheese in 2019, which accounted for about 24% of global production. France was the second-largest producer with 2.6 million metric tons, followed by Germany with 1.9 million metric tons, Italy with 1.6 million metric tons, and the Netherlands with 1.5 million metric tons. Together, these five countries accounted for over half of total global cheese production in 2019.
Domestically, Wisconsin led all states in cheese production in 2019, accounting for about 25% of all U.S. output. California was second with 12%, followed by Idaho with 8%, New York with 7%, and Minnesota with 6%. Other notable cheese-producing states include Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, and Oregon.
In terms of variety, Cheddar is the most popular type of cheese in the United States. As of 2020, it accounted for about 39% of all cheese production in the country. Mozzarella was the second-most popular cheese in the U.S., accounting for 28% of production, followed by Monterey Jack with 8%, American and Colby with 6% each, and Swiss with 5%.
Overall, cheese consumption has been on the rise in recent years due to its increasing popularity as a snack and an ingredient in a variety of dishes. Global cheese production is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands remaining major producers.