Non-EU food exports see significant growth

UK exports to non-EU exports have grown this year but Europe remained the top export destination

UK food and drink exports outside of the EU have seen significant growth in 2016 compared with last year, revealed a new report from the Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) released on Monday (November 21).

UK food and drink exports grew by 12.1% to £3.4bn in the third quarter of the year. Total year-to-date exports rose by 10.2% to £10.1bn against the same period in 2015.

The non-EU export market saw significant growth in 2016, up 19.2% to £1bn in the third quarter (Q3) of the year compared with 2015.

EU trade was still the main market for UK exports however, growing 9.6% year-on-year in Q3 to £2.4bn.

Market value skyrocketed

Malaysia’s market value skyrocketed by 167.3% to £87.1M, making it the 20th most valuable export market for the UK. Ireland topped the chart with an export market value of £2.29bn, an increase of 4.4%.

In the FDEA’s top 10 UK exports, wheat saw a dramatic increase of volume exported by 93.1% and its value increased by 80% to £331.5M. Sweet biscuits saw the biggest drop in value, falling 3.7% to £274.4M, with volumes dropping 8.7%.

While volumes fell for breakfast cereals and salmon, the value for both increased compared with 2015.

FDF director general Ian Wright said the growth of food and non-alcoholic drink exports in Q3 was very encouraging news for the industry.

‘Excellence of UK Food’

“It is also a positive step towards highlighting the excellence of UK food and drink to the world,” added Wright. “As the UK leaves the EU, a growth in exports is hugely important to our sector.

“We hope that with the determination of businesses, and the assistance of the government’s International Action Plan for Food and Drink, we can open more channels and provide support to new and existing food and drink exporters as they seek new markets overseas.”

FDEA director Elsa Fairbanks said that while there were many emerging trade partners, 71.5% of UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports were to the EU.

“In our experience, EU retail and foodservice buyers are very positive about the quality and innovation behind UK products and stress to us the importance of maintaining close links going forward,” explained Fairbanks.

 

FDEA and FDF exports report – at a glance
  • UK food and drink exports grew by 12.1% to £3.4bn in Q3 of 2016
  • Year-to-date exports up 10.2% to £10.1bn against the same period in 2015
  • Non-EU exports grew 19.2% to £1.0bn in Q3
  • Malaysia export market grew 167.3% to £87.1M
  • Wheat increased in value by 80% to £331.5M

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