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The causes of the great cheese glut

Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 3:38 p.m.

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There's a big problem in United States right now. No, not that - America's got too much cheese.

According to Vox, 453 million kilograms sits in cold storage warehouses across the country.

There's a few reasons for what's being labelled "America's cheese glut".

Around 2014, China's economy was growing fast.

They were buying up heaps of US dairy products, like milk powder and cheese.

American farmers stepped up to meet demand, then China's economy slowed, and with it - cheese sales.

Then, the European Union removed the cap on domestic dairy production, which meant even less demand for US cheddar, swiss and gouda.

Meanwhile Russia put sanctions on foreign cheese, because of sanctions already placed on Russia.

The US government used to buy up excess cheese to help farmers.

Now, it buys it up and donates it to food banks.

In New Zealand, domestically, it's not an issue.

DairyHQ analyst Susan Kilsby says that's because we only produce cheese to meet current demands, so there's no excess.

Among our biggest exports to China is milk powder - which thankfully is not in danger from America's cheese glut.

Ms Kilsby thinks we're unlikely to buy up any US cheese because it's lesser quality, and we make our own.

Prices are now coming down in America - and that's adding pain to farmers, with dozens of farms already shutting up shop across the US.

Newshub.

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