Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

Information on the production, sales, and trends for Australian manufactured butter.

Butter

In 2015/16, Australia produced 118,600 tonnes of butter and anhydrous milkfat (AMF) or butteroil in commercial butter equivalent terms (CBE) – almost unchanged from the previous year.

Butter and AMF production (tonnes)

 

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15 (r)

2015/16 (p)

Butter/Butter blends (CBE)

96,326

100,551

99,035

101,705

101,641

99,015

AMF (CBE)

26,160

19,164

19,193

14,417

16,943

19,610

 

AMF is butter with the water removed. It is produced mainly for export and domestic food processing applications, such as bakery and confectionery. While these sectors also use butter, the majority of domestic butter sales are through retail and foodservice outlets. 

The introduction of spreadable butters and vegetable oil-based dairy blends, which are easier to spread and lower in saturated fat, has helped to stabilise domestic market sales in the last two decades, after a sustained decline through the 1970s and 1980s.

Nevertheless, Australia’s total retail market for tablespreads has generally contracted over the last decade. Consumer concerns about margarine consumption have meant a continuing decline in share, with dairy spreads taking further retail market share from margarine. This has been a continuing trend over the last decade, as dairyspreads’ share of the category has steadily increased from 30% in 2000/01 to 50% in recent years. 

It is estimated that around 50% of the domestic sales of Australian dairyspreads were through supermarkets. Supermarket sales volumes increased 3.6% in 2015/2016, together with a 3.0% increase in average retail prices during the year, delivered an increase in retail sales value of 3.8% over the previous year to more than $432 million.

See Domestic Sales Summary for more details on supermarket sales of butter.

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