UK food and drink exports fell by 16% within the first 9 months of 2021, in accordance to trade figures that exposed the devastating influence of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic on the worth of commerce.
A Warning from the Food and Drink Federation
Food manufacturing is one of Britain’s greatest employers and the most important single manufacturing sector, ahead of car production and chemical trade.
In a recent press release, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) stated that the sector’s exports declined by £2.7 billion between January and September 2021, in contrast with pre-pandemic levels, a drop to be blamed largely on a 24% lower in gross sales to European Union (EU) nations.
Food and beverage exports to Germany fell by 44.5% and by 43.3% to Italy. Moreover, exports to Spain have been impacted particularly hard, nearly halving (50.6%).
On the other hand, more positive news came from non-EU markets, with exports up 11%, driven by a return to strong growth in China (+22.1%), Taiwan (+21.8%), the UAE (+18.3%), Japan (+10.6%), and Singapore (+5.4%).
The FDF also mentioned that international exports of whisky and salmon began to get better last year, with gross sales of each merchandise up 21% in contrast with 2020. All different main merchandise, together with beef, cheese, and pork have been down, falling 18.4%, 13.2%, and 5.7% respectively.
Food and drinks imports were badly hit as well, with gross sales from the union down almost 11% within the 9 months to September in contrast with pre-Covid ranges. The £2.5 billion fall affected the Netherlands, Ireland, and Germany probably the most.
The FDF is therefore underlining the importance of improving relations with the EU.
Dominic Goudie, Head of International Trade, the FDF, said, “it is extremely disappointing to see how badly our trade with the EU has been affected, with our smallest exporters hardest hit. It is essential that the Government works constructively with the EU to improve the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to ensure that it works for small businesses, otherwise this downturn will be here to stay.”
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