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Food & drink exports remain resilient

18 March 2013

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has reported that total UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports remained at £12.1billion 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 £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. 

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS
Categories showing growth:
Chocolate: +19.3% to £524m
Sweet Biscuits: +2.7% to £279m
Sauces & Condiments: +8.9% to £227m
Cakes: +7.9% to £200m
Coffee: +9.7% to £148m 
Top performing markets:
Saudi Arabia +35.2% to £118m
United Arab Emirates: +24.9% to £153m
Sweden: +16.5% to £198m
Australia: +12.6% to £114m
China: +11% to £110m

FDF’s economic and commercial services director, Steve Barnes (pictured), commented: “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 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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