FDF Trade Snapshot: Q1 2024

04 June 2024

The FDF Q1 trade snapshot finds that exports between January and March 2024 have fallen by 5.3% year on year. Export volumes saw a significant decline with products measured in kilograms down by over a fifth on the year. This report also looks at trade with Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council.


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  • Exports fell by 5.3% in Q1 2024, reaching £5.7bn. This value decline from the previous year was driven by several significant EU markets. ‘Not for EU’ labelling will further impact exports to our largest partners amongst a backdrop of inflationary pressures.
  • The volume changes for the top ten products were mixed, with some products experiencing increases such as cheese (23.4%), while others saw decreases, with breakfast cereals (-14.4%) being particularly affected.
  • Export volumes were down across the board, with products measured in kilograms down by 20.3% compared to last year, and 8% down compared to Q1 2022.
  • Exports to Australia rose by 15.6%. We expect this to increase as industry understands the benefits of the new FTA, as well as the introduction of a new Australian attaché this summer.
  • For the first time, Turkey is in our top 20 destinations for food and drink, increased market access through an improved FTA could aid this further.


  • Imports fared better, with a slight increase of 0.4% to £14.8bn over the previous year.
  • Volumes followed a similar trend, with trade in kilograms up by 7.4% and litres by 1.6% compared to last year. Fruit remains our largest import, while cheese and fish imports decline amidst significant export growth.
  • The Export Health Certificate for medium-risk goods, introduced on January 30th under the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), led to increased costs and bureaucracy for traders. This is reflected in the significant decline in beef and poultry imports in the following months.
  • The second phase of the BTOM came into effect on April 30th, which has introduced new checks and fees. Many of the costs apply even if the good is not inspected.
  • Moroccan and South African imports increased by 29.6% and 34.3%, respectively. Upcoming tariff reviews in June present opportunities to remove EU legacy tariffs.

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