Exports of bakery and cereals are on the up, according to a new report by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). However, sugar and sugar confectionery products have seen exports fall by nearly a fifth.

The bakery and cereals category saw exports rise 3.3% from January to June 2011, compared to the same period last year, taking its total value to £986.9m. Sugar and sugar confectionery experienced a 19% drop in export sales to £188.9m.

The cereal commodities category actually fell by 13.8%, but this was more than offset by the growth seen in baked products such as biscuits, breakfast cereals, and milling products such as wheat and grains, said the FDF.

Sweet biscuits were up 11.3% to £115.4m, with the growth coming from countries including Australia (+62.3%), Ireland (+9%), and France (+12.1%).

Bread exports rose 10.6% to £45.7m, with gains seen in Germany (+32%), Sweden (+23.6%), and the United Arab Emirates (+516.8%).

Exports of savoury biscuits increased 6.7% to £15.8m. Ireland grew its imports by 5.4%, and the Netherlands by 20.8%, but exports fell in its number two market, the US, by 7.6%.

Cakes saw a decline in export sales of 5.9% to £83.9m. The declines came from Ireland (-6.4%), the Netherlands (-5.6%), and France (-22.9%).

Total UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports grew to £5.8bn in the first half of 2011 – a rise of over 13% on the same period in 2010.

Melanie Leech, FDF’s director general, said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see such strong growth in food and drink exports, despite the challenging economic climate affecting several of our key markets, particularly in the EU.”

She added: “These figures indicate we are on track to achieve our seventh consecutive year of growth and they also illustrate that there is still a huge appetite for our products abroad.”

>>Bakery sees mixes success with exports

>>Mrs Crimble’s ramps up gluten-free exports