10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 40

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week 40

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 40 of 2023 — October 2nd-8th, 2023.

Key News:

General Export News:

1.Statement on the UK – U.S. SME Dialogues – California (5 October 2023)

“On 5 October 2023, the 7th UK – U.S. SME Dialogue was held in Indio, California with over 70 UK and U.S. small and medium sized businesses and business organisations participating.

During the Dialogue, a series of panel discussions covered opportunities for SMEs looking to grow through UK – U.S. trade. Attendees discussed the opportunities for SMEs in services trade and opportunities in the green technology sector that can contribute to energy and climate solutions. SMEs also raised their concerns about the barriers they face in exporting and importing, including access to SME finance.”

Source: GOV.uk

2.Quarter of UK’s seaborne trade could be blocked as strike action brews across ports

Strike action could block sea ports all across the country as industrial disputes take place over compulsory medical examinations for port workers.

Unite has warned Associated British Ports (ABP) that strike action could take place across its 21 ports which handle around a quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade.

Ports said to be affected include Southampton, known as Britain’s “Gateway to the World” and is the UK’s number one export port. It is also Britain’s largest port for automotive and Europe’s number one turnaround port for cruise.

Source: The Independent

3.UKEF backs new funding package for Yorkshire business developing sustainable polymer systems

Since 1988, Rosehill Polymers has established itself as a market leader in the design, development and manufacturing of sustainable polymer systems at their facilities in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire. The business serves a range of markets and industries including offshore energy, highways, rail, and security.

Rosehill exports its products to over 550 customers in 52 countries across the world, manufacturing many of its products using recycled and low-carbon-impact materials.

The UKEF-backed funding package from Virgin Money will help Rosehill to complete a management buyout, continue its worldwide growth and accelerate its move into new international markets. A key growth area that Rosehill will focus on is the decarbonisation and modularisation of construction materials used within the rail and highways sectors, by expanding its design, development and production of products using recycled materials as a primary raw material.

Source: GOV.uk

4.UK minister says “zero” chance of free trade deal with Biden

“British business and trade minister Kemi Badenoch said there was a “zero” chance of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States under President Joe Biden’s administration, citing his attitude to such deals.

Biden has frozen FTA talks with countries including Britain. Asked at an event at the Conservative Party conference what chance there was of something resembling a free trade deal under the Biden administration, Badenoch replied “zero.”

Source: Reuters

5.Scottish Secretary to visit Vietnam to boost trade links with Scotland

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack will travel to Vietnam this week on a mission to boost trade and diplomatic links. He will be joined by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), in a drive to boost the Vietnamese export market.

Latest trade figures show that almost 200 Scottish companies export goods to Vietnam worth £83 million a year – more than 11 per cent of all UK exports to Vietnam. The three top three export are beverages, fish and scientific instruments. There is huge further potential for Scottish businesses in the country.

Vietnam is a priority market for Scotch. Vietnam is the 24th largest export market by value. In 2022 direct exports were worth £73.9 million equivalent to 7.1m bottles, having grown in value by 371 per cent since 2019. Single malts account for 31% of exports. Some 85 per cent of all whisky drunk in Vietnam is Scotch. Under the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, the 45 per cent import tariff is being gradually reduced over six years to zero (it is currently 24 per cent). This has been a significant factor in driving exports.”

Source: GOV.uk

6.UK advertises for communications chief for GCC trade deal

“The UK government is advertising for a communications chief for the country’s prospective free trade deal with the Gulf Co-operation Council, raising speculation an agreement is close to being reached.

The Department for Business and Trade published an advert on LinkedIn late on Thursday, inviting applicants to apply for the position of UK – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement: Head of Communications, Engagement and Delivery.

A UK government analysis found that a free-trade agreement between the UK and the GCC would be expected to increase trade by more than 16 per cent and add at least £1.6 billion ($1.98 billion) a year to the UK economy.”

Source: The National News

Food Export News

7.Canadian farmers organise campaign to protest UK accession to CPTPP

This week, several Canadian farming groups have banded together to protest the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The UK previously secured to agree the pact, with accession expected to come into force next year.

However, this hasn’t been universally welcomed, with objections arising due to the UK’s stringent food standards, which could act as de facto barriers to Canadian meat exporters.

Source: The Institute of Export & International Trade

8.Food inflation battle threatened by ‘seismic’ period for exporters

“An avalanche of regulatory changes will threaten the battle against food inflation as traders face more red tape in 2024 than they did when the UK left the EU.

Over 20 major policy changes are coming next year, the institute of export & international trade warned in a new report breaking down the disruption British businesses will face next year.

This will include new border checks on EU imports from January, labelling changes that are part of a new trade agreement between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, extra documentation required for goods heading into the EU from March, as well as the switch to a new HMRC exports software system.

This barrage of bureaucratic requirements will result in higher costs for traders, potentially increasing prices for British shoppers, the IOE&IT said.”

Source: The Grocer

9.British artisan food producers to get easier access to US markets

British fine food producers now have better access to American markets with a new chilled trade route between London and New York.

PML Seafrigo is offering a new scheduled Less Than Container Load (LCL) to UK producers of fine foods including cheese, chocolate, charcuterie and dry goods such as premium biscuits looking to export to the US.

The service is suitable for single pallets or sample cases, and it includes pickup, consolidation and storage in the UK as well as deconsolidation, storage and delivery in the US.

Customers only pay for the space they use in the container and the shipping route takes 11 days, said PML Seafrigo, making it “ideal” for small businesses looking to trade with America.

Source: The Grocer

10.Aber Falls Distillery awarded legal protection for Single Malt Whisky

Based in North Wales, the distillery has joined a list of Welsh producers to have received UK protected status for its Single Malt Whisky.

Source: Food Manufacture

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