Major uplift in UK food and drink exports

18 Jun 2019

UK exports of food and drink saw its biggest first quarter on record, increasing by 10.7 per cent year on year to £5.8 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019.

According to the findings published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry, UK's largest manufacturing sector, export growth to non-EU markets increased by 12.2 per cent. This outpaced growth to EU markets which grew by 9.9 per cent.

UK branded goods exports have also increased over the past 10 years, rising by 110 per cent.

Growth of more than 20 per cent was recorded in five of the UK's top 20 export markets, including the Netherlands, China, Sweden, Japan and Taiwan. Sales to Saudi Arabia rose by 198 per cent from the first quarter of 2009 to 2019. Between January and March 2019, exports grew by 28.6 per cent, moving Saudi Arabia into the top 20 export markets for the first time.

However, on the downside, findings show that growth may slow over the rest of 2019 with foreign buyers signalling they are no longer willing to buy from UK exporters due to ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive, FDF, comments: “The food and drink industry continues to out-perform expectations, delivering another quarter of exceptional exports growth despite the damaging uncertainty with which businesses have to contend.

"The rapid growth to Saudi Arabia, is just one example of this strength. With the right support in place our industry could deliver so much more. We urge Government to help us to provide the support our industry urgently needs to further enhance this growth.”

Beavis Morgan – specialist business advisers to the hospitality sector

At Beavis Morgan, we have extensive experience of working with clients in the hospitality sector and our professionals are acknowledged experts in issues affecting pubs, bars and restaurants. 

Through our partner businesses, BM Structured Finance and BM Advisory, we are able to help with sourcing and restructuring debt finance for SME businesses, as well as assisting with resolving issues which can impact on business performance and success, and finding innovative solutions for businesses and individuals in distress. 

Contact Matthew Burge or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your hospitality business.

Further reading: 

Adaptability is “the new competitive advantage” for hospitality businesses

Tackling food waste boosts food and drink sector profits

View the FDF Exports Snapshot Q1 2019