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UK food and drinks exports collapse post-Brexit

Food exporting


Whisky, cheese and chocolate producers have suffered the largest post-Brexit export losses within the food and drinks sector, new figures from HMRC have proven.

Evaluation of the figures by the Meals and Drink Federation (FDF) exhibits that cheese exports in January plummeted from £45m to £7m yr on yr, whereas whisky exports nosedived from £105m to £40m. Chocolate exports went from £41.4m to only £13m, a decline of 68%.

They put the collapse in commerce all the way down to a mix of Brexit and weaker demand in Europe, the place eating places, resorts and different hospitality retailers stay closed.

Exports of another items corresponding to salmon and beef nearly stopped altogether, with declines of 98% and 92% respectively, however by worth they had been the seventh and 4th largest losers of the highest 10 exports to the EU.

General, commerce in fish, thanks partly to an entire ban on the exports of sure stay shellfish, dropped by 79%.

The figures come scorching on the heels of information from the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) exhibiting commerce between the UK and EU had been hit laborious in January, with total exports down by 40.7% in January in comparison with December.

It comes because the Home of Lords EU atmosphere subcommittee expressed deep concern over the disruption to commerce attributable to Brexit. “We’re dismayed that our agri-food sector is dealing with such excessive commerce frictions, “ stated Lord Teverson, the subcommittee chair, in a brand new report on account of be printed on Tuesday.

“The will increase in paperwork and preparation required for meals and agricultural exports to the EU are presenting very troublesome challenges, significantly for small companies,” he added.

The FDF stated the worst-hit commerce route was to Eire dropping its place as the only largest export marketplace for Britain accounting for five% of the general commerce in contrast with 18% in January 2020 This chimed with figures issued by Eire’s Central Statistics Workplace on Friday

Exports to Germany and Italy had been shut behind – down 85% and 81% respectively.

Whereas pre-Brexit stockpiling and weak hospitality demand through the pandemic can have been an element, the FDF stated “a lot of” the autumn was more likely to be on account of new non-tariff boundaries which have hit smaller producers significantly laborious.

“Companies face important challenges when buying and selling with the EU and small companies specifically have been shut out as a result of groupage distribution isn’t working,” the FDF’s head of worldwide commerce, Dominic Goudie, stated, referring to a logistics system that beforehand allowed hauliers to hold small consignments from quite a lot of sellers.

ONS figures launched 10 days in the past, confirmed UK exports of products to the EU plunged by 40.7% in January, the largest month-to-month decline in British commerce for greater than 20 years

The newest HMRC figures present the agrifood sector has been one of many hardest hit with new checks and necessities for well being certificates a major barrier to commerce.

General figures now present that food and drinks exports collapsed in January, plunging total by 75.5% yr on yr. All the way down to £256m from £1bn.

The federal government says UK-EU commerce has been hit by the pandemic and issues with firms adapting to the brand new customs guidelines, which it expects to enhance with time.

Defra stated total freight volumes had been “again to their regular ranges for the reason that begin of February”, including that the ONS had stated warning needs to be utilized to year-on-year knowledge as buying and selling environments had been very totally different.

“A novel mixture of things, together with stockpiling final yr, Covid lockdowns throughout Europe and companies adjusting to our new buying and selling relationship, made it inevitable that exports to the EU could be decrease this January than final,” stated a spokesperson for the division.



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