Cereals and bakery exports increased by 10% in the first half of the year – but total food and drink sales abroad fell because of the strength of the pound.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said the value of UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports had dropped, reaching a total of £6bn in the first six months of the year – a fall of 5.3% on the same period in 2014.
The FDF added that the value of exports to the EU shrank by 7.5% in the first half of the year.
Exports to non-EU markets continued to grow (+1%), said the FDF, and value-added goods were up globally, with significant increases of exports of tomato ketchup (+£3m) and bread, pastry & cakes (+£7m). Confectionery exports to Canada were also up £7m.
FDF’s economics and commercial services director Steve Barnes commented: “Food and drink has been bucking the trend when it comes to exports for years and the value of the sector’s exports is still declining less than UK exports overall. However, we are starting to see the negative effect of exchange rates, particularly in the Eurozone, which remains the key destination for UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports.
“The good news is that volumes in many categories are still up and exports of value-added goods to both EU and to non-EU countries are rising.”
To help food and drink companies crack the exporting journey and understand which markets offer the best growth opportunities in the current economic climate, FDF, the Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) and online export community Open to Export are launching The Food & Drink Export Feature on Monday 7 September.
A joint initiative between Open to Export, Government and industry, the Food & Drink Feature will run from 7–22 September. The initiative will include webinars, expert advice on currency issues, trade shows and niche markets, as well as case studies from successful exporters.
Barnes added: “Exports continue to be a key area of growth for food and drink companies and we hope that businesses will make use of the raft of free materials and expert advice during the upcoming Food & Drink Feature on Open to Export.”
Content will be available here.