Sales leap for UK salmon
UK exports reached a record high in the first half of this year thanks in part to a sales surge of salmon, according to the Food and Drink Federation. Salmon exports have risen by 53% (£408mn), as UK food and drink sales overseas rose to 8.5% to £10.2bn.
The figures are said to be buoyed by the weakened pound following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, thus making items cheaper to overseas importers. The FDF report stressed that the weaker pound had pushed exports up, but at a cost, with raw materials imported from aboard costing UK business far more than previously. The report also highlighted the widening difference between what the UK exports and imports (the food and drink deficit), which has increased to 16% ($12.4bn).
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Beer overtook chocolate as the third top seller with salmon closing making ground on whisky, the number one UK export. UK food and drink exports rose faster to EU countries with a 9% increase while exports to countries outside the EU increased by 7.6%.
The three export markets that saw the greatest percentage growth were South Korea (+77%), China (+35%) and Belgium (+39%). The rapid growth in exports to growing East Asian markets was led by South Korea fast gaining a taste for British beer. Overall exports of beer surged to £156.3m following the success of UK craft-ale producers such as BrewDog. Overall beer sales jumped more than 420% year-on-year to £59.3m.