Exports Snapshot: H1 2020

30 September 2020

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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  • Food and drink exports are a UK success story. However, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted growth after exports fell for the first time since H1 2015.
  • Exports fell by 13.8% to £9.7bn, as both exports to EU and non-EU markets declined.
  • Exports to the EU (-14.5%) decreased at a faster rate than those to non-EU markets (-12.6%).
  • The trade deficit widened, reaching -£13.4bn, from £12.8bn in H1 2019.
  • Exports to all of the top 20 markets decreased, except China (+0.3%), Canada (+6.7%) and Norway (+46.9%).
  • Pork was the only product within the top 10 to show value growth, up 17.5% on 2019.
  • Since H1 2010, exports have increased by 34%. Exports to non-EU countries grew faster (59%) than to the EU (21%).
  • Members noted access to new UK preferential trade agreements and increased export demand as top pportunities for 2020 in FDF's Q2 Business Confidence Survey.
  • FDF, Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) have produced an export guide to help businesses successfully navigate the export process.
  • The guide signposts a range of support that can help exporters impacted by COVID-19 as well as supporting businesses post EU Exit transition.