It looks like 2016 might be America's cheesiest year on record.
U.S. cheese inventories are currently higher than they have been since 1984, and the dairy products just keep piling up.
Depressed economic conditions in Europe, combined with above-average dairy production, have led to a dramatic increase in American cheese imports, and it looks like the U.S. may have bit off more (cheese) than it can handle. Over the past year alone, cheese imports from the European Union have risen a full 17 percent, while butter imports have doubled.
However, the surplus isn’t all about endless grilled cheese and macaroni. The price drop in European dairy and cheese products is also hurting American farmers, who can’t compete with prices from overseas. This is especially damaging because American dairy farmers are projecting record production this year, making their products undesirable in the U.S. itself and difficult to export abroad.
Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t exactly rosy for Europeans either. Rock-bottom prices have driven many European dairy farmers out of business, and based on the U.K.’s upcoming vote on whether or not to stay in the European Union, it doesn’t look like things are going to get better any time soon.
So, whether you prefer cheddar, American or Swiss cheese, we think it’s your patriotic duty to eat as much cheese as possible over the next few months! And don’t forget to buy American while you’re at it!