Exports Snapshot: Q3 2019

28 November 2019

We publish regular reports outlining the latest UK food and drink export statistics, which can help your company to prioritise markets for exporting. Our reports include: data on the UK's top food and drink exports, key export markets, areas for growth, and updates on FDF's trade-related policy work.


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  • Q3 food and drink exports increased by 8.3% (y-o-y) to £6.2bn, largely driven by export value growth to non-EU countries (+13.1%), which was over twice that of exports to the EU. Food and drink exports accounted for 6.4% of total UK exports over the year-to-date.
  • The UK’s food and drink trade balance has improved, indicating that relative dependence on imports has decreased by 12.2% compared with Q3 2018.
  • Despite almost half of respondents to FDF’s Q1 and Q2 business confidence surveys indicating UK exports would not fare well in 2019, official Q3 figures are positive, likely driven by Brexit stockpiling.
  • Exports of the UK’s highest value products have all increased over the year-to-date. Whisky, salmon, wine, gin and pork have each increased by more than 10% on the same period last year, while salmon, beef and gin have also seen volume growth exceeding 10%.
  • Looking at trade in goods across the UK, total exports have seen a 2.5% decline over the year-to-date. When comparing overall UK performance with that of food and drink, the sector has performed well, seeing a 6.3% increase on the same period in 2018.
  • Food and drink exports to the UK’s seventh largest trading partner, China, have seen a significant increase since Q3 2018, rising by £64.6m. This is the largest value increase in over two decades. This has largely been driven by an increase in meat exports, though fish, spirits, beer and dairy produce have also performed strongly.