Africa and the Middle East have driven a rise in exports of food and non-alcoholic drinks from the UK in the first half of 2012, figures show.

For the six months to the end of June, food and soft drinks exports increased by 2.2% to GBP5.9bn (US$9.6bn), the UK Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said today (28 September).

Exports to Africa and the Middle East jumped by almost 24% and 18% respectively, offsetting mixed demand across the European Union.

Chocolate was the main beneficiary of growth, with export sales up by 31% to GBP239m over the same period of 2011, said the trade body. United Arab Emirates was a strong chocolate importer and also bought more than double the amount of UK fish and seafood than in the first half of 2011.

However, fish and seafood was one of the biggest fallers over the half-year period. According to category-by-category figures, fish exports dropped by around 6% to GBP656m.

At the other end, cereals and bakery exports rose by 6% to break the GBP1bn barrier, while fruit and vegetable exports jumped by a quarter to GBP629m.

The FDF's commercial services manager, Steve Barnes, said: "Our brands have strong reputations in international markets and it is a credit to our manufacturers that despite difficulties experienced in many key EU markets, they have continued to drive forward sales by making in-roads into new markets."

Show the press release

uk food & drink exports stay upbeat in 2012

 

Friday 28 September 2012

 

Today, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has reported that UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports have continued to grow in 2012, rising to £5.9bn in the first six months of the year – an increase of 2.2% on the same period in 2011.

 

FDF’s latest update also found that exports to all non-EU regions, apart from those surrounding the Eurozone, were in growth of over 7%. The EU fared less well with a rise of 0.7%, largely due to the Eurozone debt crisis which has resulted in sharp falls in exports to some key markets, namely France and Italy.

 

Outside of the EU, the strongest gains were in Africa (+23.6%) and the Middle East (+17.7%). Within the Middle East there were significant increases in exports to the United Arab Emirates, which rose 37.8% to £80m, due to strong demand for chocolate (+169%) and fish and seafood (+151%).

 

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

 

Categories going up:

Chocolate:                              +31% to £239m

Cheese:                                   +2.5% to £200m

Sauces and condiments:      +8.2% to £110m

Cakes:                                     +11.8% to £94m

Sugar confectionery:              +4.4% to £80m

 

Top markets:

United Arab Emirates:           +37.8% to £80m

Saudi Arabia:                                     +24.5% to £66m

Hong Kong:                             +20.2% to £64m

Germany:                                +16% to £585m

Portugal:                                 +12.5% to £66m

 

FDF’s Economic and Commercial Services Director, Steve Barnes, said:

“Once again, UK food and drink exports have proven themselves to be an important component of both our industry, and the country’s economic growth, and an area in which we can excel. This is why we are working with Government and others to remove barriers and to strengthen support for food and drink companies looking to export.” 

 

“Our brands have strong reputations in international markets and it is a credit to our manufacturers that despite difficulties experienced in many key EU markets, they have continued to drive forward sales by making in-roads into new markets.”

Original source: Food and Drink Federation