Top Line Performance
Food and non-alcoholic drink exports were stable at £12.1bn in 2012 – the same as 2011.
The non-EU markets (+4.6%) counter balanced performance in the challenging EU27
The result for the year was heavily influenced by decline in the final quarter
(-5%), up to
September food and drink exports were in growth by 1.8%
The combination of a contracting Eurozone in Q4 (GDP fell by 0.6%), lower demand
commodities and slower growth to non-EU resulted in the performance seen in the
A key factor and one beyond the control of the industry markets was the poor UK
the autumn which impacted heavily on the supply of grains available for export
the value of
cereal exports in Q4 alone fell by £160m on Q4 2011.
Including alcoholic drinks, total food and drink exports were £18.7bn, 0.3% up
on 2011 with
the whisky sector up 1.1%.
In light of the above, it is encouraging to report that food and drink exports
resilient when compared against all UK products (-4.5%).
UK exports to the Eurozone were less competitive in 2012 as sterling
strengthened from an
average of €1.15 in 2011 to €1.23 in 2012.
The strengthening of the pound against the euro between 2011 and 2012 has been
significant, impacting on the price of UK food commodities and constraining
demand, particularly from the EU.
UK exports to those markets using the US dollar became marginally more
sterling weakened from $1.60 in 2011 to $1.59 in 2012.
Value added growing strongly
Growth was inhibited by falls seen across some of the largest commodity
- Cereals -27.9% falling by £167m, with wheat -34.4% and Barley -19.7%
- Fish and seafood -7.8% falling by £115m, with fresh fish -14.6% and crustaceans -8.2%
- Meat -6.4% falling by £93m, with beef -11.2% and lamb -5.9%
- Dairy -5.9%, falling by £69m, with fresh milk and cream -14.8% and butter/spreads
The export of value added foods (+3.7%) outperformed total food and
exports (0%) in 2012.
This was true in both the EU (+1.6%) and the non-EU (+10.1%). Of the top 20
below eight of those nine in growth are categorised as 'value added':
Top 20 Key Products in 2012
UK Exports Top 20 Key Products in Food & Non-alcoholic drinks,
||% change 2011-2012
|Milk/crm not cont/swt
Source: HMRC Trade Info
Within the EU 27 exports to France fell by £119m against 2011 – One of 15
markets in decline
in 2012. In contrast gains were made in some significant markets including
up £80m) and the largest market Ireland (+1.7% up £51m).
Exports to all non-EU regions, apart from Other Western Europe markets and
were in growth. The strongest gains were seen in Africa (+15.5% up £64m) and
East (+15.4% up £59m).
UK Exports of Food & Non-alcoholic drinks by EU / Non-EU
2011-2012 (£ million)
|Total Food and Non-alcoholic drinks exports
|EU % share
|Non-EU % share
Source: HMRC Trade Info
Notes for comparison
- Including alcoholic drinks, total food and drink exports were £18.7bn, 0.3% up on 2011.
- All UK product exports at £306bn in 2012 were down 4.5% on 2011 (UK food and nonalcoholic drinks share
of total UK exports for 2012 is 4%).
- Imports of food and non-alcoholic drinks were £34.6bn, up 1.8% on 2011 with imports
growing at a faster rate than exports in 2012.
- The food and non-alcoholic drinks trade gap increased by 2.8% in 2012 to a deficit of £22.5bn.
Download the full UK Food and Drink Export Performance statistics research report - (Full year 2012) - pdf | 3.8MB
Last reviewed: 15 Mar 2013