Plates still full thanks to steady UK food exports

Posted on 23 Sep 2013 by Callum Bentley

UK food and non-alcoholic beverage exports industry hits £6.1billion mark with continued growth in 2013.

A 2.5% increase in UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports has boosted the sector’s export figure to £6.1billion, according to a Food and Drink Federation report revealed today.

The growth reflects positively on the industry that has been showing strong signs of increase since a slow first quarter when exports were down by 2.5%. In the second quarter f 2013, this figure was also offset by a strong second quarter growth of 9%.

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FDF’s Economic and Commercial Services Director, Steve Barnes, said factors such as the Eurozone recession, extreme weather and a disappointing 2012 UK harvest had contributed to a difficult start to the year for exports.

“The performance to non-EU markets was hugely encouraging in particular and a credit to companies investing to grow internationally,” he said.


Report Highlights


Chocolate: +5.4% to £249m

Cheese: +3.8% to £210m

Soft drinks: +5.5% to £187m

Sweet Biscuits: +14.2% to £136m

Sugar confectionery: +6.8% to £86m


Selected markets:

China: +126% to £102m

Australia: +25.9% to £55m

South Africa: +25.4% to £50m

Hong Kong: +24.9% to £73m

Denmark: +10.8% to £108m


Exports to the EU27 also showed positive signs (+1%), though this was eclipsed by continued high growth to non-EU markets, up 7.5%. China leapt up ten places to enter the top 10 markets for food and drink companies, a climb largely accounted for by a boom in British pork exports (+591%).

Value added foods were up in both EU (+4.9%) and non-EU markets (+8.2%), and sweet biscuits performed particularly strongly (+14.2%). Against a difficult backdrop with cumulative UK exports down by 3.3%, food and non-alcoholic drink exports have performed solidly, showing a 2.5% increase compared to the same period last year.

The report comes as welcome news with today’s launch of the Open To Export Food & Drink Focus Week, a programme of online activity to support food and drink companies in developing export business.