UK food exports level for first time in three years – Food from Britain food and drink export information – Brief Article

UK food exports level for first time in three years – Food from Britain food and drink export information – Brief Article – Statistical Data Included

According to figures, the UK food and drink export market is showing signs of recovery for the first time since 1997. Food from Britain (FFB), the international food and drink marketing consultancy, has released data showing the value of exports holding steady at around 8.8bn [pounds sterling] (14.2bn [European Dollar]) for last year.

However, these positive signs are likely to be short lived, as restrictions on the exports of meat and dairy products due to the recent foot-and-mouth disease will hamper this trend in 2001.

Food from Britain has said the stabilising of food and drink exports can be attributed to a number of factors. A strong recovery in key Asian markets increases in sales to emerging markets and the continued strength of exports to the North America throughout the first three-quarters of the year. FFB also said that some buyers in Europe are returning to British food, despite the strength of the sterling against the Euro.

Sales to non-EU nations last year increased 4% compared to 1999 figures. With EU sales dropping slightly by 3%, this now means non-EU countries account for 39% of all UK food and drink exports, compared to 37% in 1999.

Exports to the Asia Oceania region increased 12% last year, with South Korea entering the UK’s list of top ten export markets for the first time. Exports to South Korea last year rose 41%. Other increases for the region included sales to Australia rising by a third, Thailand, by 50%, Malaysia by 20%, Singapore by 15% and Japan by 2%. Within Europe, export sales last year were mixed. As Spain emerges from an economic recession, exports to Spain rose 12%. Elsewhere in Europe, exports to Portugal (+6%), Greece (+13%) and Italy (+4%) performed well. However, key exports to key markets such as Germany, France and Belgium were down 10%, 7% and 18% respectively.

Chief executive of FFB David McNair said, “The long term commitment shown by many of our food and drink exporters has started to pay dividends.” McNair went on to say “However, the export restrictions imposed as a result of foot-and-mouth will severely hamper the market’s recovery in 2001 .”

Foie gras up

Unlike champagne, luxury food item foie gras has not suffered from the Millennium effect. Having overstocked in preparation for the Millennium celebrations, many champagne producers have seen profits fall compared to year 2000 performances.

Not so for foie gras, with the French, who consume the majority of foie gras increasing their consumption of the delicacy. Consumption rose 4% last year. Some 16 000 tonnes were produced last year, an increase of 6.5%. Exports of foie gras also increased up 14% to 1 650t. Most foie gras is exported to other European nations and Japan.

Top ten food and drink export markets for the UK (m [pounds

sterling]) 2000

Value %+/-

Ireland 1 247 0

France 1 059 -8

US 832 +4

Spain 725 +12

Germany 545 -10

Netherlands 412 -2

Italy 341 +4

Belgium/Luxembourg 298 -18

Japan 228 +2

South Korea 168 +41

Source: Food from Britain

COPYRIGHT 2001 Agra Europe Ltd.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group