Exports Snapshot: Q1 2019

04 June 2019

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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  • Q1 2019 exports of food and drink increased by 10.7% (y-o-y) to £5.8bn, almost twice the growth rate of Q1 2018 (+6.3%).
  • Export growth to non-EU markets (+12.2%) outpaced EU markets (+9.9%). This was also the case for sales of branded goods.
  • Growth of more than 20% was recorded in six of our top 20 export markets: the Netherlands, China, Sweden, Japan, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia.
  • Exports of all top 10 products recorded value and volume growth in Q1 2019, the strongest value growth being salmon at 40.9%.
  • While Q1 exports have shown positive results, feedback from businesses at recent trade fairs tells us that key buyers in some of our top 20 markets are no longer willing to buy from UK exporters due to ongoing Brexit uncertainty. This could have a significant impact on our export figures later in 2019.
  • The Food and Drink Sector Council (FDSC) Exports Working Group, led by Graham Hutcheon, Managing Director, Group Operations, Edrington, aims to drive a step-change in food and drink exports through a range of activities. This includes supporting the successful launch of a Food and Drink Sector Deal.
  • Through the Food and Drink Sector Deal, five target markets (China, the Gulf region, the USA, Japan and India) have been identified as offering significant growth potential for UK food and drink.
  • Saudi Arabia, one of the target markets, moved into the top 20 exports markets for UK food and drink this quarter.