10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 22

week 22

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 22 of 2024 — May 27th-June 2nd, 2024.’

Key News

General Export News

1. Businesses battered by Brexit urge Labour and Tories to slash EU tariffs

The next UK government must urgently focus on a better trading relationship with the EU as Brexit has increased costs and made it tougher to export, one of the country’s most influential business networks has said.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) published its election manifesto on Tuesday, citing improved relations with the trading bloc as part of its five demands for whoever wins the general election on July 4.

The manifesto says leaving the EU made it “more expensive and bureaucratic to sell our goods and services across the Channel” – but that better terms are possible to help firms trade.

Source: The Independent

2. Made in Britain connects members to discuss exporting to Europe

On 21 May, Made in Britain delivered an online networking event led by Made in Britain members Home Decor and Mantle Packaging, focused on exporting to Europe.

The Department for Business and Trade’s Europe team also attended, with a representative dialling in from the UK Embassy in Prague, to offer their perspectives and support with any follow-up or signposting.

Europe continues to be the UK’s largest export market.  In 2022, the UK exported £340 billion of goods and services to the EU.  42% of total UK exports.  This was also reflected in Made in Britain’s 2023 export survey, which highlighted Europe as by far the most active export region for Made in Britain members.

Source: Made in Britain – official

3. What does the future of Northern Ireland’s export market look like?

Northern Ireland has yet to release its full potential in the export market, according to business leaders.

Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of NI Chamber, called for “clarity of focus” and a “strong confident message” around the value of exports and the benefits of dual market access. Darragh Cullen, managing director of Edge Innovate, which manufactures mining and recycling equipment, told Ulster Business there needs to be “more encouragement from government bodies to help businesses realise that the challenge of exporting isn’t as big as they might think it is”.

According to the most recent Northern Ireland Economic Trade Statistics (NIETS), in 2022 65.9% of total sales by businesses in NI were within NI. Some 18.5% were within GB, while only 15.6% (£13.3bn) were exports to markets outside the UK.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

4. What has Brexit ever done for us?

Brexit has returned sovereignty to the UK – its most important attribute. But it also means we must choose our politicians carefully. They now have control over our laws, money, taxes, trade, transport, farming, fishing, financial services, science and technology, migration, and legislative scrutiny. Here is a brief rundown of some of Brexit’s results, so far.

Source: Briefings for Britain

5. UK pig meat trade: Q1 2024 volumes lower year on year

In March UK pig meat exports totalled 24,400 tonnes, falling compared to both the previous month and year. This brings the export volume for the first quarter of 2024 to 75,500 tonnes, a loss of 4,000 tonnes (5.1%) year on year and the lowest Q1 figure since 2015. Lower export volumes have been driven by reduced supplies.

So far in 2024 there has been no change in the top four export destinations for UK product, despite volumes falling across the board. The EU27 holds the largest market share at 42%, closely followed by China with 38%. The Philippines has recorded year on year growth in volumes, growing its market share to 8%. The US continues to hold a 2% market share, meanwhile South Africa has seen growth in shipment volumes and market share, overtaking South Korea.

Source: AHDB

6. Northumberland packaging firm named an ‘export champion’ by the Department for Business and Trade

“A Northumberland firm has been named as a Northern Powerhouse ‘export champion’ by the government after its growth in overseas markets.

Reproflex3, headquartered in Cramlington, received the recognition from the Department for Business and Trade due to its continued expansion and investment within the flexible packaging industry globally.

The aim of the export champion title is to promote UK businesses to think globally.

Andrew Hewitson, CEO at Reproflex3, said: “Before we made our first international investment, which was setting up a new plate manufacturing facility and artwork studio in Dubai, we worked closely with our international trade adviser within the Department for Business and Trade.

Source: Northumberland Gazette

7. EU shortfall boosts UK meat exports

Early year beef export figures are up- and there could be more to come as latest statistics indicate an internal decline in EU red meat production.

During quarter one, Britain exported 27,150 tonnes of beef, up 3.7 per cent on year earlier figures, with the value of exports up 0.7 per cent. 85 per cent went to the EU, with non-EU countries receiving 66 per cent more and Hong Kong seeing a huge 84 per cent increase on year earlier figures.

Lamb exports also had a healthy increase in January and February and only fell in March due to increases in domestic demand; nevertheless, export value in quarter one up was 13 per cent and volumes were higher than both 2021 and 2022.

Source: Brecon & Radnor Express

8. Danish agri-food export to UK could be halved post-Brexit – study

Danish food and agricultural exports to Britain could fall by almost 50 percent after Brexit even if Britain agrees a free trade deal with the European Union, a study commissioned by the Danish government found. Britain is an important destination for Danish agricultural and food products like bacon and butter and Denmark exports more than 12 billion Danish crowns ($1.8 billion) of agri-food products to Britain each year, according to the report. The study by University of Copenhagen researchers for the Ministry of Environment and Food, found the “best case scenario” with a free trade agreement between the block and UK, would see Danish food exports to Britain fall by as much as 48 percent. In a situation where Britain fails to strike a deal on a new relationship with the EU and comes under World Trade Organisation rules, the decline in exports could be as much as 79 percent.

Source: Yahoo News

9. World’s largest food awards move judging panel from UK to Ireland to avoid Brexit red tape

The Great Taste awards are a British success story – the world’s largest food awards, celebrating the best products on the planet. But new post-Brexit import controls have forced the organisers to hold a judging panel outside the UK for the first time in the awards’ 30-year history.

On Sunday, judges from the Guild of Fine Foods panel will travel to County Tipperary in Ireland to spend three days tasting products that have become much harder to bring to the UK.

Since January, anyone sending meat, dairy or fish products to the UK has to find a vet to fill out a seven-page form showing that the product is disease-free. And since April, exporters have also had to pay a fee of £29 for each product, whether it’s a container full of Irish beef or a single packet of Tayto cheese and onion crisps, unless they are for personal use. This includes the 13,672 samples sent to the Great Taste judges from 115 countries.

Source: The Guardian

10. CV manufacturing records best year to date since 2010 despite April fall

UK commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturing fell by -19.9% in April, the second consecutive monthly decline, with 8,413 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches rolling off factory lines, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Despite this fall, CV production output is up a staggering 289.1% on the same period in 2019 – given investment and an uncharacteristically low April in 2019 with model changeovers at major production plants.1

Production for export declined by -24.1% in April, with 5,601 units making their way to global markets to represent two thirds (66.6%) of vehicles produced in the month. The domestic market also saw a fall, albeit at a smaller rate of -9.9%, or just 310 units, on a year ago. April’s decline reflects some temporary supply chain shortages and normalisation of the market following high levels of pent-up demand post-Covid.

Source: SMMT

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