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The FDF’s Trade Snapshot examines the latest developments in the UK’s exports and imports of food and drink in the first quarter of 2022. 

Its report found that food and drink imports have recovered and are over 13% higher than in 2019, while exports to major markets including the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan and the UAE exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

It also said that Canada is a key source of ingredients used by UK manufacturers and the UK saw imports rise 5% while exports to the country saw particularly strong growth, up 26% on pre-pandemic levels.

Exports to India up

Exports to India are up more than 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and they remain a large import partner – particularly for agricultural goods – accounting for £172.5m.

The FDF said that it expects further growth in food and drink exports with the UK-Japan trade agreement coming into force in 2021, and others on the horizon including Australia and New Zealand. The trade association also said that it expects both Canada and India, which are currently in negotiations with the UK Government over free trade deals, to represent major export opportunities.

FDF have highlighted that it should be a priority to secure improved market access for UK exporters of cheese to Canada. In India demand is booming in the country in the health, organic, fortified and ready-to-eat packaged food sector.

However, the FDF did highlight that despite this success a key priority remains improving the implementation of the UK-EU trade agreement.