Food and Drink Exports Fall Almost 10% in Pandemic

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Despite sporadic openings in the hospitality and travel industries both at home and abroad, British food and beverage exports declined by 9.7 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

Easing pandemic barriers and holding EU companies ahead of the end of the transition period caused exports to drop by only 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Exports to both EU and non-European markets dropped by 8.0% and 12.1% respectively.

Most of the 10 most important foods and beverages that the UK exports have been negatively affected by Covid-19 and restrictions on the free movement of people.

This includes a drop in volumes for the three most important British products: whiskey (down 13.7%), chocolate (down 2.3%) and cheese (down 7.5%).

One of the exceptions was the pig sale, which grew by 6.2% to a total of £629.7 million by 2020.

Sales of breakfast cereals were also up by 12.6%, its most important market being the Republic of Ireland.