UK food and drink trade exceeds pre-pandemic levels with imports and exports with non-EU countries

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Exports and imports of food and drink products with non-EU countries have exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time, according to a study by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

The FDF’s Trade Snapshot examines the latest developments in UK food and drink exports and imports in the first quarter of 2022.

The search found:

• Imports of food and beverages have recovered very well and are more than 13% higher than in 2019, while exports to major markets, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

• Canada is a key source of ingredients used by UK manufacturers and imports increased by 5%, while exports to the country increased by 26% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

• Exports to India are more than 25% higher than before the pandemic and India remains an important import partner – particularly for agricultural products – accounting for £172.5m .

With the UK-Japan trade deal coming into effect in 2021, and others on the horizon, including Australia and New Zealand, the FDF expects further growth largest food and beverage export.

Canada and India are currently negotiating with the UK government on ambitious free trade agreements and represent significant export opportunities.

India presents major opportunities for UK exporters. Demand is booming across the country for healthy, organic, fortified and ready-to-eat packaged foods.

Unknown for the industry remains the impact of the war in Ukraine, with rising energy prices and the supply of some key ingredients – including vegetable oils, grains and white fish – under pressure.

Dominic Goudie, International Trade Manager of the Food and Drink Federationsaid: “Trade plays a key role in driving the UK economy, with strong exports ensuring food and drink businesses thrive and imports providing UK shoppers with a wide range of quality products at affordable prices. affordable prices.

“It’s particularly important now, at a time of rising costs for businesses and consumers, that the UK is using trade as a deflationary weapon.”

Nicola Thomas, Director of the Association of Food and Beverage Exporterssaid: “Having a sales portfolio spanning multiple global markets not only makes a business potentially less vulnerable to changes in the UK economy, but any loss caused by crisis or stagnation in any one country or region has also a much better chance of being balanced by a presence in others.”

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