(Also published on LinkedIn)
In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 25 of 2023 — June 19-25, 2023.
Now let’s dive into export news:
General Export Updates
“The UK will today sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) designed to grow trade with Utah, a US state with a GDP of £201 billion in 2022 – equivalent to the economy of New Zealand.
The pact, which will be signed by International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston and Utah Governor Spencer Cox, is the fifth arrangement of its kind between the UK and a US state and signifies a milestone in the UK’s trade ties with Utah.
The pact aims to strengthen our trading relationship with Utah, establishing a framework to unlock export opportunities for UK businesses, encourage investment, and create jobs in the UK – contributing to the government’s priority to grow the economy.”
“A £26.3 million equivalent loan backed by the UK Government has allowed the Ukrainian government to start rebuilding six bridges and reopen vital supply routes near Kyiv.
The loan has been announced as part of the Ukraine Recovery Conference, which is being held in London today, and has brought together the public and private sectors to discuss how to accelerate and support the reconstruction of Ukraine.
In an unprecedented transaction from any export credit agency, UKEF has agreed to issue a buyer credit loan guarantee that allows the Ukrainian government to access financing from Citi, unlocking crucial funds for Kyiv Oblast’s Road Service.”
“The Origin Procedures in the UK- New Zealand Free Trade Agreement set out the process for goods to prove their originating status and how a reduced rate of Customs Duty (known as a tariff preference) can be claimed.”
“In its latest statistics, the UK Department for Business and Trade said the trade exchanges with Iran from January to April 2023 reached £27 million (equivalent to $34 million).
It shows a 17 percent hike compared to the same period a year earlier.
According to the report, the value of trade exchanges between the two countries reached £23 million from January to April 2022.”
Source: Tasnim News Agency
“The dates for the third International Trade Week programme of trade-related events, workshops and webinars have been announced by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT).
In an email sent by government to industry yesterday (20 June), traders have been told to pencil in Monday 6 to Friday 10 November 2023 into their calendars.”
“The freight industry has seen a period of relative decline after the previous two years of almost uninhibited growth.
Customers moving goods internationally have taken advantage of a softening market, with declining prices and increased competition amongst those selling spaces across all modes of transport, according to a number of attendees at this year’s MultiModal conference.”
“Today (23 June) marks the seven-year anniversary of the UK’s referendum vote on membership of the EU, and almost three and a half years since the departure was completed. Since Brexit, the conditions for businesses trading between the UK and EU have undeniably changed.
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which came into effect on 1 January 2021, continues to be the basis on which much of UK-EU trade, at least for goods, is now conducted.
The TCA has been criticised in some quarters for adding too many new costs and requirements for traders, but the EU’s vice-president Maroš Šefčovič, who leads the bloc’s negotiations with the UK, has been clear that the deal will not be re-opened until 2026. Both major political parties in the UK have also ruled out the UK re-joining the EU single market or customs union.
So how can UK-EU trade conditions be improved in the meantime? Are there agreements outside of the TCA or elements of the TCA that can be renegotiated or improved?”
“The International Monetary Fund said of the UK economy, “investment has been weaker since 2016, labour market flexibility has come down, and the intensity of trade of the UK with the EU has come down … all of these factors are in line with a weakening economy.” The UK has experienced the slowest growth in export volumes in the G7 since Brexit, and the trade in some goods has actually shrunk. For example, between 2019 and 2022 exports to the EU of fruit and vegetables fell 38%, clothes fell 33%, and footwear fell 45%.
EU markets are completely closed to some of our key products. Pre-Brexit, Scottish producers sold 20,000 tonnes of seed potatoes to EU customers each year. That trade has now collapsed.
Forty four per cent of businesses in Scotland facing difficulties trading overseas named Brexit as the main cause. Scottish firms trying to export to Europe face significant additional costs and bureaucracy, at a time when their margins are already being squeezed. Our prized seafood industry has been hit with an estimated 50% increase in the cost of packaging items sent to the EU, and new Export Health Certificates are costing the salmon sector alone approximately £1.3 million per year.”
Source: The Scottish Government
Food Export News
9. NPA highlights concern over lack of UK trade plans in the event of an African swine fever outbreak
“The NPA has raised concerns in Parliament over the UK’s lack of preparedness for an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in terms of the impact on the vital pork export market.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Eggs, Pigs and Poultry last week held a panel event in Parliament on ‘Disease Preparedness: Safeguarding the UK’s Food Security’. The event was hosted by the APPG chair, Jim Shannon MP (DUP, Strangford), and chaired by NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw. They were joined on the panel by Gordon Hickman, head of exotic disease control at Defra, as well as other industry representatives.
Defra Minister for Biosecurity and Borders, Lord Benyon, delivered the opening speech, reaffirming the Government’s commitment to preventing biosecurity disasters. Other points of discussion included the barriers to vaccines, trade implications and practical implications for farmers, according to NPA senior policy adviser Charlie Dewhirst, who attended the event.”
Source: Pig World
“The rallying call came from AHDB Chair Nicholas Saphir, with global meat consumption expected to grow by 1.8% and fresh dairy product consumption by 2.53% from 2023 to 2024. UK red meat exports hit record levels in 2022 with a value of £1.7bn, and the dairy sector achieving a similar level.
Speaking at the AHDB Export Conference at Butchers’ Hall in London, Mr Saphir said: “Our exporters and colleagues in Government should be congratulated on the fabulous job done in driving export growth for UK agri-food which is reflected in the figures from 2022 that speak for themselves.
“It is, however, imperative to maintain the momentum and build on this success. With the anticipated growth in global meat and dairy consumption, now is a pivotal moment for more UK exporters to seize on the export opportunities presented.”
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