The consumption of milk in Germany declined again in 2023, government data shows.

According to preliminary figures published by the Bundesinformationszentrums Landwirtschaft (BZL), the per capita consumption of milk in Germany shrunk to less than 46kg in 2023, from 46.1kg in 2022, which had been a record low.

Meanwhile, the production of drinking milk fell by almost 1% to around 4.2m tons compared to the previous year.

Cheese consumption per person decreased from 24.6kg to 23.8kg, a fall of more than 3%.

However, production of cheese increased to 2.66m tons in 2023 from 2.64m tons in 2022 due to rising exports.

The amount of cheese Germany exported reached an all-time high in 2023 of 1.41m tons, a 6.6% rise on the previous year.

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The number of dairy cows shrunk by 2.5% in 2023 to around 3.7m animals.

According to the BZL, people have also been using less butter in Germany.

The per capita consumption of butter, milk fat and milk fat products fell by 1.4% to 5.6kg in the country.

Butter production fell by almost 4% last year but the overall production of the “butter, milk fat and milk fat products” category slightly increased overall by 1.8% to 481,000 tons.

Earlier this month, the BZL reported meat consumption in Germany also fell to a new record low in 2023.

Consumption declined 0.8% year-on-year to 51.6kg. This marked a new record low level for the country, after a drop to 52kg per person in 2022.