UK drinks industry helps drive up British exports

Economy & Politics | Export | Latest News
Dr Liam Fox

Latest figures show UK exports continue to go from strength to strength as they reached £639.9bn in the year to February 2019, an increase of 3.1% since the previous year.

Goods exports in the same period remained particularly strong, increasing by 3.5% to £353.2bn.

UK exports of beverages, which include the world-renowned British gin and Scotch whisky, reached a high of £8.3bn in the year to February 2019, increasing by 7% on the previous year. The unprecedented demand for British soft drinks, wine and spirits have seen exports more than double in the past 15 years.

The UK boasted a healthy £1.6bn trade surplus in beverages. In fact, if the UK never exported beverages, the trade deficit would have been 26.1% greater.

October and November saw a spike in beverage exports approximately 23% above the 12-monthly average for drinks exports, as people across the world stocked up on Scotch whisky and gin ahead of the festive period.

Non-EU countries were the top destination for British beverages, accounting for 63.4% of all exports. There has been a massive increase in demand from India and Japan, with exports growing by 49.2% to £179m and 23.7% to £188m respectively. The US remains the top destination for UK drinks, growing by 3.9% to £1.8bn.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, said: “Today’s figures show that despite the challenging global economic environment, people across the world are continuing to demand high-quality British exports. The UK’s drink industry has global appeal and it’s fantastic to see the sector continue to deliver real tangible economic benefits for the UK. My international economic department stands ready to help businesses of all sizes achieve their exporting ambitions.”

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