Exports dive to the EU from the UK
The UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF) published its trade snapshot for February 2021, showing milk and cream exports to the European Union dropping by 96.4% to £0.9 million (€1.25m), from £24.2 million (€33.6m) in February 2020. Another dairy area impacted highly was cheese, which saw its numbers fall by 64.6% to £14.5 million, from £41 million the year before. Beef and chicken was similarly impacted.
Dominic Goudie, head of international trade at FDF, regarding his views on these statistics: “While UK food and drink exports to the EU have improved from a 76% fall in January, they are still down nearly 41% in February 2021. Exports to our biggest market, Ireland, have also dropped more than two thirds. UK businesses continue to struggle with inconsistent and incorrect demands at EU borders, and small businesses have been hardest hit due to the collapse of groupage distribution into the EU.
“New EU import requirements for composite products entered into force this week, adding even greater complexity, cost and uncertainty for UK exporters. It is essential that the EU-UK Partnership Council and its Trade Specialised Committees are convened to urgently address problems with the implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement to ensure small businesses are not shut out of trade by this trade deal.”
Meanwhile, imports from the EU also fell, with cheese down by 20.9% to £92.7 million.