Brexit: UK food and drink exports to EU fall by £ 2 billion Business News

UK food and drink exports to the European Union have fallen by £ 2 billion in the past year as Brexit frustrates major supply chains.

Exports to Germany, Spain and Italy all fell by more than a third last year, according to a new analysis from the Food and Drink Federation.

The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in trade barriers due to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are at the root of the fall.

Imports from the EU also fell 11.2%, to nearly £ 1.7 billion, in one year, according to the analysis, which compared the first six months of this year with the same six months in 2020.

This means that less pork, cheese and chicken were imported from EU countries last year, and the products all saw a reduction of just under 20%.

Industry experts predict that there will continue to be a drop in the amount of French beef, German cheese and other products on supermarket shelves in 2022, after comprehensive border controls are put in place in the UK. United.

The contraction of the market with the European Union has been complemented by an increasing dependence on China, Singapore, Australia and Japan.

Dominic Goudie, Head of International Trade at the Food and Drink Federation, said: “The return to growth in exports to non-EU markets is good news, but it does not make up for the disastrous £ 2bn loss of sales to the EU.

“This clearly demonstrates the serious difficulties that manufacturers in our industry continue to face and the urgent need for additional specialist support. “

Mr Goudie highlighted the competing crises in the sector, saying: “At the same time, we are seeing labor shortages in the food and beverage supply chain from farm to fork, resulting in empty spaces on the shelves of UK stores, disruption of deliveries and decrease in production.

He warned: “Unless action is taken to address these issues, the ability of companies to fulfill vital export orders will be affected. “

British exports to neighboring Ireland, our largest export market, have also fallen by more than £ 0.5 billion from pre-Covid figures. Food and drink sales in France actually rose 14.4% from 2020, but are down 11.9% from pre-Covid levels.

This caused a loss of £ 132million in exports.

John Whitehead, of the Food and Drink Exporters Association, said: ‘Many factors continue to impact the declining value of UK food and drink exports, supply chain challenges and l ‘inability to connect face to face with customers adding to the difficulties.

“It is therefore gratifying to see growth in sales to non-EU countries. However, this in no way replaces the loss of £ 2.2bn in EU sales since 2019. “

Mr Whitehead criticized the “complexity of trade with the EU” for having pushed companies to move their operations to Europe and importers in search of alternative suppliers.

UK food and drink sales to non-EU countries rose 13% from the same six months last year. This push was driven by a return to growth in China, Singapore, Australia, Japan and the Gulf region.

Sales in China increased by nearly £ 100million and the fastest growing markets were Colombia, up 142.6%, and Mexico, up 111.2%.

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This notice was published: 2021-09-02 10:41:27

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