- Food and drink exports increased by 1.8 per cent to £16.4bn from January to September 2018, when compared to the same period in 2017, says The Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
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The analysis by FDF also shows that the food and drink trade deficit narrowed by 1.3 per cent and it now stands at -£18.0bn, which is £243.0m lower than the same period in 2017. Export growth to EU markets (+4.1 per cent) was positive, while exports to non-EU markets declined (-1.8 per cent), with the EU exports share growing to 62.1 per cent.
Exports of branded goods grew by £35.2m to £4.3bn, up 0.8 per cent.
All of the top 10 export products reported growth in January to September, apart from beer and salmon. The fall in exports of salmon, down 20.1 per cent, is primarily a result in a fall in sales to France (-19 per cent) and the US (-36.2 per cent). In volume terms, this represents a decline of 16.6 thousand tonnes, which is equivalent to £94.3m.
Ian Wright, chief executive of FDF said, “Despite the tumultuous times, UK food and drink exports continue to grow. These results record a very creditable performance across many product categories and destination markets. However, it is clear that businesses must work ever harder to deliver.”
Elsa Fairbanks, director of the Food & Drink Exports Association (FDEA) said, “The FDEA has received positive feedback from members in our recent 2018 Export Survey. Most respondents report continued export growth both in EU and non-EU markets, although in the main this comes from more ‘established’ markets. As the reality of the changing trading environment emerges, there is concern that sales may start to fall in the EU after Brexit, and many exporters are exploring opportunities in new areas further afield. In light of this, we fully endorse the need for practical help and support to ensure that companies are prepared for what lies ahead.”