Beef and pork export value growth in third quarter

UK exports of beef and pork saw strong value sales growth during the third quarter of 2017.

Both are among the top 10 products that are exported from the UK, according to the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF’s) Exports Snapshot, with beef seeing a 12.7% value rise but a 3.1% volume decline, giving the category a value of £40.5 million (m). Pork saw an 18.3% value sales rise and a 0.9% volume sales rise to a value of £51.1m.

The surge in pork export growth was attributed to a rise in demand from the Philippines.

Overall, exports of food and drink from the UK during the third quarter grew 14.7% year-on-year to £5.9 billion (bn). Exports to non-EU markets (+18.2%) outperformed those to EU markets (+12.5%) with the US and China being the leading non-EU markets. The UK recently got the green light to export pork to China, which should see the category grow even further.

The FDF also said its industry ambition was to grow exports of branded food and non-alcoholic drink by a third, from a 2014 baseline, reaching £6bn by 2020.

Ian Wright CBE, director general of the FDF, said: “The continued growth of food and drink exports demonstrates the strength of UK production in international markets. UK food and drink is recognised throughout the world for its quality and we must be ready to take advantage of the opportunities created from leaving the EU.

“Exports to non-EU markets did outperform those to EU markets in the last quarter, but the EU remains our number one trading partner. With fewer than one in five food and drink manufacturers exporting, it is vital that we continue to work closely with government in order to take advantage of the opportunities to sell Great British and Northern Irish food and drink abroad.”

Elsa Fairbanks, director of the Food & Drink Exports Association (FDEA), added: “FDEA members continue to be very positive about their sales to international markets. It is particularly encouraging at this time of change that exports continue to grow in our top EU markets and that markets like South Korea and China are gaining traction.

“Our challenge is to ensure that new exporters have the confidence to develop markets closer to home and the skills and knowledge to explore the important, but often complex, markets further afield. The FDEA team is committed to helping food and drink exporters identify the most appropriate markets for their products and to exploit the commercial opportunities for British food and drink across the globe.”

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