UK Food and Drink Export Performance

UK food and drink export statistics for 2015

In this report:

Executive summary

  • Value of exports sales shrank by 5.3% in H1 of 2015 compared to the previous year, reaching a total of £6bn.
  • Value of exports to non-EU markets improved +1%, increasing the non-EU share of exports by 1.7 percentage points.
  • Exports to EU 28 fell -7.5%, reflected in a smaller share of exports.
  • Including alcoholic drinks, total food and drink exports for H1 2015 reached £8.6bn, down 4.8% on 2014.
  • Exports of whisky (the UK's largest food and drink export) were down 4.3% at £1.7bn.
  • The food and non-alcoholic drink trade deficit increased by 1.1% to £11.4bn for the half year.
  • The H1 figures are often not as strong as H2 and while the value of exports has fallen slightly in H1 2015, food and non-alcoholic drink exports are still performing above pre-recession levels.

Key Indicators

Key Indicators

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What happened in H1?

  • GDP is estimated to have increased by 0.7% in Q2 2015 compared with growth of 0.4% in Q1 2015.
  • There has been a rise in Sterling of 15% over the last two years against a basket of currencies, especially the sharply depreciated Euro (€1 down from £0.86 to £0.71 since August 2013). As a result, the cost of exporting to the UK's biggest Eurozone partners has increased significantly and UK exports have become less competitive. At the same time USD remains comparatively strong after a fall in 2014.
  • Access to non-EU markets has opened up due to lower energy prices resulting in lower operating costs for businesses and potential reductions in shipping costs for exporters.

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Value added up globally

  • Exports of Value Added goods saw slight growth of 0.9% in H1 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, achieving exports value of £1.98bn.
  • Growth of Value Added Goods is reflected in both EU and non-EU markets, with EU taking the larger share of £1.45bn in H1 2015.
  • In Value Added Goods there was a 40% increase in exports of tomato ketchup (worth +£3.2m) and Bread, Pastry & Cakes were also up +£6.9m.

Value Added Goods

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Top Product Categories

Top Product Categories

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Top 20 markets

Top 20 Markets

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Exports by sector

Exports by Sector

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Going up and down

Going up and down

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More information


Last reviewed: 09 Dec 2015