In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 3 of 2024 – January 15th-21st, 2024.
“UK supplies of critical goods such as medicines, minerals and semiconductors will be safeguarded, thanks to the Government’s new Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy launched today (Wednesday 17 January).
The recent attacks in the Red Sea, one of the world’s most critical waterways, has threatened global trade. In response to increased geopolitical disruption, and the unprecedented challenges of recent years, like the Covid pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and environmental disasters, the UK Government and businesses have boosted their ability to manage supply chain shocks. This strategy builds on this and will further equip UK businesses to deal with global supply chain problems and access the imports they need which are essential to the functioning of the UK. “
“It is in light of the changes facing global supply chains, that the government committed in the Integrated Review (IR) Refresh 2023, to publish a Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy. This is the UK’s first overarching strategy focussing on reliable access to the goods we need now and in the future. It builds on existing sector-specific initiatives already announced by the government, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Plan and the recent semiconductors, batteries and critical mineral strategies, to provide a whole economy approach.
The strategy sets out the actions we are already taking and our next phase of work to enable the efficient and reliable flow of critical imports. It is informed by 2 principles: our belief in the benefits of free trade; and the belief that it is first and foremost for businesses to manage their supply chains, with government intervention reserved for those areas where it is necessary, such as in cases of market failure. It also makes clear our commitment to putting joint working with the businesses at the centre of our approach. “
“The Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD is urging Irish exporters to prepare now for new UK requirements starting 31 January.
These changes by the UK are a further outworking of Brexit, as the UK gradually moves to enhanced border controls as part of its new Border Target Operating Model.
The new UK requirements include the pre-lodgement of customs declarations as well as the pre-notification of agri-food exports which must, in some cases, be accompanied by an Export Health Certificate. These new UK requirements are in addition to the existing formalities that apply when exporting goods from the EU.“
“HALF of companies in the North-east of Scotland expect their profits to grow in 2024 as the region looks set to outperform the rest of the UK, according to new report.
Growing international demand for goods and services from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is driving increased confidence among companies in the region.
The latest data, again, reaffirms the status of the region as an export powerhouse. 36% reported international sales growth in Q4 (28% nationally) and just 9% reported declining sales (v 24% UK wide).
And 32% of North-east respondents are forecasting growth this year in overseas activity (26% UK) with just 10% of regional firms expecting this to decline (v 25% nationally).“
Source: Aberdeen Business News
“Under the new trading arrangements, many firms have reported increased costs, excessive red tape, paperwork delays, and disruption.
The most recent survey we have conducted, is that these problems have not eased and that the likelihood is that they will increase in the near future.
There is current evidence that one in eight small exporters have temporarily or permanently stopped trying to export into the EU. A further nine are considering doing so. While 33 per cent of those who try are encountering customs barriers and 18 per cent are encumbered by technical and procedural requirements for end products.
So, what does this mean for North Devon potential exporters? A number of companies have decided to expand their horizons and move further afield, markets such as Australia, Japan and the Middle East have opened up. Very recently this has frustratingly been affected by variable shipping costs. The current problems in the Red Sea are not helping.
Those small businesses who are being successful have cracked the problems of customs and tariffs and even, if necessary, the need to register for VAT in overseas countries.”
Source: North Devon Gazette
“At a webinar hosted by the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) yesterday (16 January), 54% agreed with the statement “I feel apprehensive about the new EU-UK rules coming into force this year”, with a further 21% strongly agreeing.
These rules include new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls that are being introduced for goods entering Britain under the government’s Border Target Operating Model (BTOM). The first batch of new rules are due to come in on 31 January, including the requirement for export health and phytosanitary certificates to be provided for animal-origin and plant-based products.
While most on the call said they were familiar with upcoming BTOM deadlines, over a third said they were not.”
“Export sales have soared in recent years amid growing demand for Scotch whisky in key markets such as the USA, France, Singapore, Taiwan, China and India.
The industry contributed £5.3bn to the Scottish economy and £1.8bn in the rest of the UK in 2022, according to the new report from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
Scotch accounts for £3 in every £100 of Scotland’s gross value added (GVA), leaving it second only to energy production in economic importance.“
“The Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill delivers on a Conservative Party commitment to ban the export of live animals including cattle, sheep and pigs.
The bill, which passed through the House of Commons this week after clearing the committee stages, now moves to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.“
9. ‘You also end up with the salmon being squeezed’: Scotland’s top food export reels from 53 million excess deaths over last 5 years
“At a village hall near Loch Linnhe, a sliver of water sandwiched between the Hebrides and Glasgow, Stewart Hawthorn laid out his plan to build the biggest salmon farm in the UK near this aging rural community. Once completed, the managing director of Long Loch Salmon said, it would create at least 16 jobs. It would feature eight enclosures holding up to 8,000 tons of fish, with a density double the industry standard. And most importantly, he claimed, it would help alleviate one of the biggest problems plaguing the business — excessive death rates.
Salmon is a hot commodity: its aquaculture is the fastest-growing food production system in the world. Promoted as a healthy alternative to red meat and chicken — and a way to to close the so-called “protein gap” for a growing global population — Atlantic salmon production has expanded more than six-fold since 1995. The fish is now the UK’s dominant food export, with much of the farming taking place in Scotland.
But rising demand has come alongside record mortality numbers: around a quarter of Scottish salmon don’t make it to harvest, and in the last five years, there have been 53 million excess fish deaths, exceeding even larger producers. This is partly due to warming waters, which bring micro jellyfish and plankton blooms, but industry practices are also to blame: densely packed farms can give rise to sea lice outbreaks and bacterial and viral infections. While lice outbreaks aren’t typically fatal, their treatments can be. In October, almost 5% of salmon on Scottish farms died. The death rate fell to 4% the following month, still far higher than the five-year average.“
“Violence across the Middle East has been ramping up since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. But it has kicked up another gear since the UK and US joint air strikes last week against Yemeni rebels – a response to Houthi attacks on international shipping vessels using the key Red Sea trading route
UK defence secretary Grant Shapps has vowed to continue to “take the action needed to protect innocent lives and the global economy”.
But how is the Red Sea crisis affecting global supply chains, and what could further military intervention mean?
The west’s decision to launch air strikes against Yemen “tells us just how serious the economic impact of shipping disruption in the Red Sea is,” says Institute of Exports & International Trade (IOE&IT) director general Marco Forgione. He says the gains made by the UK economy in November have been “effectively wiped out” by the conflict, which analysts estimate has hit global GDP to the tune of 1.3% so far.“
Source: The Grocer
Want to get more international trade content straight to your inbox?