The FDF said the export market for cakes increased by 7.9% to £200m and sweet biscuits also improved by 2.7% to £279m.
However, unsurprisingly, 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 £160m (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.
Steve Barnes, FDF’s economic and commercial services director, said: “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.
“Nevertheless, food and drink manufacturers have continued to make strong inroads 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.”
• For further analysis of the FDF export figures see the 22 March issue of British Baker