The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) today reported that in the first half of 2013, total UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports grew by 2.5% to £6.1billion. This comes as welcome news with FDF a key partner in 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.
Although 2013 began slowly with food and non-alcoholic drinks exports down by 3.4% in Q1, this was offset by strong Q2 growth (+9%) – exports in June alone were up over 13%. Exports to the EU27 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.
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
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
FDF's Economic and Commercial Services Director, Steve Barnes, said:
“Q1 started slowly with the Eurozone gripped by recession and extreme weather, and the UK still feeling the effects of a disappointing 2012 harvest. However, Q2 was much better as the EU pulled out of recession and consumer confidence grew. The performance to non-EU markets was hugely encouraging in particular and a credit to companies investing to grow internationally.
“Despite the good news, there is huge untapped potential for boosting UK food and drink exports. So, to help equip food and drink companies with the information they need to realise their export potential, FDF is pleased to launch our new guide, ‘10 Steps to Export Success’. We’re also very proud to be playing a lead role in innovative initiatives such as the Open to Export Food and Drink Focus Week.”