UK food and soft drink exports to the EU bounced back in 2013

UK food and soft drink exports to the EU bounced back in 2013

UK exports of food and soft drinks rose 5% in 2013 as sales in the EU bounced back amid signs of economic recovery in the region.

Export sales reached GBP12.8bn (US$21.09bn) last year, a performance UK food manufacturers described as "welcome" after a flat 2012.

Sales made in the EU were up 3% to GBP9.5bn. Last year, sales to the bloc fell 1.4%.

This year, Ireland and France remain the UK’s two biggest food and drink export markets. Export sales to Ireland increased 7% to GBP3.21bn last year. Sales to France were up 10% at GBP1.47bn. 

Outside the EU, sales jumped 11.5% to GBP3.3bn in 2013. In 2012, sales to these markets rose 4.6%.

China became the second-largest non-EU market for UK food and soft drink exports last year. The value of exports to the country leapt 82% to GBP201m amid higher sales of pork and salmon.

Steve Barnes, economic and services director of industry association of The Food and Drink Federation, which published the data, said: "Food and drink exports are back in growth, testament to the strong demand for quality British food and drink and the growing importance of export to our industry.

"The recovery of exports to key EU markets is particularly welcome news for food and drinks manufacturers as exports account for 75% of total export sales."