UK Food and Drink Export Performance

UK food and drink export statistics for 2014

In this report:

Executive summary

  • Exports grew by 2.6% to £12.8bn.
  • Exports to non-EU markets (+9%) outperformed the EU
    (+0.5%) pushing the non-EU share up to 6%.
  • Including alcoholic drinks, total food and drink exports were
    £18.8bn, down 1.1% on 2013.
  • Exports of whisky (the UK's largest food and drink export) were
    down 7.4% on 2013 at £4bn.
  • The food and non-alcoholic drink trade balance decreased by
    -5.3% to a deficit of £22.3bn.

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Key Indicators

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Exports by Sector

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*Other Groceries includes fats/oils, preserved fruit/veg, fruit juice, sauces, ice cream, vinegar and other misc. products


What happened throughout 2014?

  • The UK's economy grew by 2.6% in 2014, the fastest pace since 2007 and up from 1.7% in 2013.
  • EU GDP advanced 0.3% on quarter in the last three months of 2014, faster than a 0.2% rise in the previous period.
  • Food and drink exports were stronger at the start of the year Q1 2014 (+8.3%) on Q1 2013. This was succeeded by poor growth in Q2 and Q3 and eventually negative growth in Q4 (-0.9%). This mirrors the rise in the strength of the pound making UK exports to Euro countries more expensive.
  • Exports to non-EU markets remained strong despite the global
    picture, with Q4 (+7.8%) on the previous quarter. This could be
    partially due to the strength of the dollar, making UK exports to
    the US and all non-EU markets cheaper.


Top Product Categories

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Going up and down

* Concentrated or sweetened milk or cream

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Value added up globally

  • Exports of value added products saw slight growth remaining around £4.6bn (+1.6%).
  • The top 5 best performing products generated gains of over £103m compared to falls of just under £34m from the worst performers.
  • Value added goods saw increased growth to non-EU countries (+8%) to the value of £1.4bn.
  • Exports of value added goods to the EU were down 0.8% to £3.3bn.


Next: Top performing markets by value gains

More information

Last reviewed: 20 Mar 2015