UK food exports reach a record high on surge in salmon sales

Whisky continued to be the top exporting item, followed by salmon fish.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Britain’s food and drink exports increased 8.5% to £10.2 billion during the first six months of this year, supported by sales in British salmon and decline in the value of pound after Brexit vote last year.

Fish exports surged more than 53% in terms of value to £408 million, said Food and Drink Federation (FDF) – a representative body of manufacturers in UK.

Whisky continued to be the top exporting item, followed by salmon fish. The beer comes at the third place after taking over the chocolate.

Since the Britain voted to exit the EU in June 2016, the pound has dropped sharply against the euro and dollar, giving push to the exports as they became comparatively cheaper.

However, the weaker British currency has also increased the costs for Britain’s businesses that import food and other raw materials from overseas, said the FDF.

Britain’s food and drink trade deficit - the difference between exports and imports –broadened by 16% to £12.4 billion during the first half of this year, it said.

However, the FDF warned that in the absence of a favourable trade agreement with the EU bloc, exports from the UK become less competitive.

Ireland and France are the two largest importers of Britain’s food and drink products.

During January-June period, food and drink exports from UK rose more to the EU nations, increased 9%, compared to other countries, with 7.6% growth.

In other markets, South Korea with 77%, witnessed the most growth during the first six months of the year on account of higher beer exports.

UK’s Food Minister George Eustice said, “We have ambitious plans to produce and export more of our fabulous foods around the world and more businesses are trying exporting for the first time. Last week we announced further market access to China for pork producers and UK beef will soon be heading to the Philippines. We will continue to work with industry to open new opportunities.”

The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 18, 2017 12:00 IST