UK Food & Drink

UK food and drink exports continue to rise

Exports of UK food and drink grew to £5.9bn in the third quarter of the year, up 14.7% on the same period last year.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has published its quarterly Exports Snapshot which highlights key UK food and drink export figures for the third quarter of 2017.

During the third quarter, food and drink producers saw further growth, building on the strength of the record-breaking first half results seen earlier this year.

Exports grew to £5.9bn during the period, up 14.7% on Q3 2016. This represents growth of 11% to £16.1bn from January to September 2017 (YTD) against the same period in 2016.

 From January to September, Ireland, France and the United States remained the top three destinations for UK food and drink in terms of overall value.

The US remains the UK's top non-EU market for exports of food and drink, reaching £1.6bn, up 7.7%.

Growth was reported in all top 20 markets during that time period, apart from Spain, which saw a 7.1% decrease due to reduced sales of barley and wheat (-78%).

Ian Wright CBE, director general, FDF, said: “The continued growth of food and drink exports demonstrates the strength of UK production in international markets.

“UK food and drink is recognised throughout the world for its quality and we must be ready to take advantage of the opportunities created from leaving the EU.

“Exports to non-EU markets did outperform those to EU markets in the last quarter but the EU remains our number one trading partner.

“With fewer than one in five food and drink manufacturers exporting, it is vital that we continue to work closely with Government in order to take advantage of the opportunities to sell Great British and Northern Irish food and drink abroad.”

Exports of branded products also grew by 14.3% in Q3, reaching £1.5bn, and up 12.7% to £4.3bn for the first nine months of the year.

This means branded export growth is firmly on track to reach FDF’s export ambition ahead of schedule.

In 2015, FDF set a target to grow exports of branded food and non-alcoholic drink by a third, from a 2014 baseline, reaching £6bn by 2020.