UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports have grown for six years in succession, passing the £10bn mark for the first time in 2010. Cereals and bakery exports pushed through the £2bn mark, up 8.1% on 2009 to £2,079.2m.

The new report, published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), named the cereals and bakery category as a high-performing food sector, behind dairy, fish and seafood, meat and prepared foods, including soups, sauces and ice creams.

Exports of sweet biscuits were up 5.9% to £234m; cakes were up 4.4% to £176.7m; waffles and wafers increased by 3% to £58.9m; sugar confectionery saw 3% growth to £145.5m; while crispbreads saw a 22.3% increase to £15.4m.

However, both bread and savoury biscuit exports fell by 6.2% (to £83.6m), and 35.3% (£35.9m) respectively.

Ireland remained the principal importer of UK products, followed by France, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Greece saw the biggest fall of 19.3% due to the economic problems suffered since the announcement of the EU bail-out for the country.

The FDF said there was also highly encouraging growth of new markets outside the current top 20 export destinations.