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UK Food and Drink Exports Remain Resilient

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UK Food and Drink Exports Remain Resilient

UK Food and Drink Exports Remain Resilient
March 19
13:16 2013

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has reported that total UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports remained at £12.1 billion in 2012 – in line with the 2011 figure. Strong growth in exports of value added food products (+3.7%) was counterbalanced by sharp falls in some of the UK’s largest commodity categories, such as cereals (-27.9%). Last year’s poor UK harvest impacted heavily on the supply of grain available for export – in Q4 alone, the value of cereal exports fell by £160 million (compared to Q4 2011).

Further contraction in exports to the EU27 (-1.4%) was again counterbalanced by continued growth to non-EU markets, up by 4.6%. Despite staying at 2011 levels, food and drink exports remain resilient compared to exports from other UK industry sectors, which fell by 4.5% overall.

The categories showing growth were:

* Chocolate: +19.3% to £524 million;

* Sweet Biscuits: +2.7% to £279 million;

* Sauces & Condiments: +8.9% to £227 million;

* Cakes: +7.9% to £200 million;

* Coffee: +9.7% to £148 million.

The top performing markets were:

* Saudi Arabia: +35.2% to £118 million;

* United Arab Emirates: +24.9% to £153 million;

* Sweden: +16.5% to £198 million;

* Australia: +12.6% to £114 million;

* China: +11% to £110 million.

FDF’s Economic and Commercial Services Director, Steve Barnes, comments: “Despite a very tough trading year, food and drink exports remain resilient. Last year’s poor UK harvest and the continued contraction of key EU markets have both had a significant impact on overall performance.”

He adds: “Nevertheless, food and drink manufacturers have continued to make strong in-roads abroad, travelling further afield to drive sales of great British made products. At a time when other sectors are struggling to find demand overseas, this achievement should be applauded and encouraged.”

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