10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 44

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ITW 2023

Happy International Trade Week, everybody!

Before we begin this newsletter, I’d like to invite all of you to register for awesome events run by Department for Business and Trade and their partners this week.

My own webinar on AI in international trade will take place on November 9th at 11 a.m. GMT. You can register here.

Now, for our usual weekly news update!

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 44 of 2023 — October 30th-November 5th, 2023

Key News:

General Export News:

1. Government calls on business expertise to boost trade with Turkey

“The UK has today [2 November] launched a ‘Call for Input’ seeking views from businesses and the wider public on UK negotiation objectives for a new, modernised free trade agreement (FTA) with Turkey.

The UK and Turkey are two major trading economies at either end of the European continent. Trade between the two countries reached £26 billion in the 12 months to June 2023, making Turkey a top 20 trading partner for the UK. In 2022, over 8,000 UK VAT-registered businesses exported goods to Turkey, including well-known brands like Vodafone

The UK and Turkey have an existing FTA which is based on outdated provisions from the 1990s negotiated when the UK was a member of the EU, and only covers goods. We are committed to negotiating a new, modernised FTA that is fit for the 21st century and covers sectors such as services, tech and digital.”

Source: GOV.uk


“It is a welcome development to see the launch of the call for evidence on upgrading UK trading terms with Turkiye by the Department for Business and Trade. Bilateral trade is now worth £26.2bn per year, with Türkiye the UK’s 17th largest trading partner by volume, and bilateral investment stock from the UK in Türkiye is some £8.9bn. This is up by nearly a quarter over the past 3 years, so it is clearly a growing market. Türkiye is among the world’s 20 largest economies and GDP per capita is expected to exceed £13,000 this year.

Türkiye already has a partial customs union agreement with the EU, so existing and any future trading terms must be mindful of that overarching reality. That is why the forthcoming negotiations between the two countries are likely to focus on areas outside the EU-Türkiye agreement. Instead they will concentrate on market access on services, stronger digital trade provisions, business travel, and data flows.

There should be plenty for business to welcome here; if we can create a genuinely future looking and liberalising agreement in these areas. There is major scope for expansion in UK services exports to Türkiye in terms of business, transport, and travel services which these negotiations can facilitate. Chapters in the agreement on SMEs, intellectual property safeguards and provisions to ease e-commerce between the two countries could cut costs for traders and boost export flows in both directions.”

Source: BCC

3. International Trade Week returns on Monday – here’s how IOE&IT is backing the programme this year

The government will next week be hosting a programme of events, webinars and workshops promoting the opportunities that global trade presents to UK businesses.

International Trade Week was run for the first time in 2021 and the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) says that the third iteration is “set to be the biggest yet”.

This year’s programme is centred around four key themes:

  • Practical advice on exporting for goods and services

  • Government services to help exporters

  • Securing investment from overseas

  • Trade opportunities in the Middle East, Indo-Pacific and the US

Source: William Barns-Graham at The Institute of Export & International Trade

4. Industry Minister makes historic visit to Mongolia to boost UK critical minerals supply chains

In an historic visit to Mongolia today, Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani will boost opportunities for UK businesses across the critical minerals supply chain, bolster trade and investment ties and mark the 60th anniversary of the UK establishing diplomatic relations with the mineral-rich East Asian country.

By 2040 the world will need four times more critical minerals than it does today, and during her visit Minister Ghani will engage with senior Mongolian government and business leaders to explore the significant opportunities available for UK businesses across the critical minerals supply chain, in particular surveying and extraction.

The visit will also build on the UK’s already strong trade relationship with Mongolia, which was worth more than £200 million in 2022.

Source: GOV.uk

5. Bletchley Declaration on AI safety cooperation signed by 28 countries at UK summit

After the opening day of the UK’s AI Safety Summit (1 November), 28 countries and the EU have agreed to cooperate on the responsible development of AI.

The Bletchley Declaration, now the first global statement on AI safety, acknowledges that AI can “transform and enhance human wellbeing, peace and prosperity”, while also having the “potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm”. To mitigate this risk, signatories have committed to international cooperation and information sharing as technological advances are made.

It was notable that the declaration was signed by both the US and China, for whom AI has become a lightning rod issue, economically and ideologically. There have been escalating tit-for-tat technology controls on both sides, with the US imposing fresh export controls on semiconductor chips earlier this year and China responding with graphite controls last month.

Source: Danielle Keen at The Institute of Export & International Trade

6. ‘Brexit annihilated our export market’: British brewers shift production to the Alps

As Brexit has created tough challenges for UK craft beer producers exporting to Europe, British companies that have set up home abroad have been finding success.

Tim Longstaff, from Stockton-on-Tees, set up Sapaudia Brewing Company in the Tarentaise Valley, surrounded by the world’s three largest ski areas, five years ago. The firm now sells 300,000 pints a year and recently won two bronze medals at the World Beer Awards.

Big Mountain Brewing Co is another British firm that has been bringing the UK craft beer tradition to the winter sports community in the French Alps, in this case in Chamonix.

Co-founder Jack Geldard says that exports, particularly from smaller breweries, have “definitely decelerated since Brexit” but says “we can capitalise on that by catering to our domestic market here”.

Source: iNews

7. Walrus ivory carving of Deposition from the Cross at risk of leaving the UK

A 12th-century English walrus ivory carving depicting the Deposition from the Cross is at risk of leaving the UK unless a domestic buyer can be found.

The Romanesque carving, which is valued at £2,006,595 (plus VAT of £40,131.90), is made of walrus ivory and depicts the moment in the story of the Passion of Christ known as the Deposition from the Cross, in which Jesus’s body is lifted down from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea. It would once have been part of a larger scene and would have included a cross which is still partly visible and other figures.

The decision on the export licence application for the carving will be deferred for a period ending on 2 February 2024 (inclusive). At the end of the first deferral period owners will have a consideration period of 15 Business Days to consider any offer(s) to purchase the carving at the recommended price of £2,006,595 (plus VAT of £40,131.90 which can be reclaimed by an eligible institution).  The second deferral period will commence following the signing of an Option Agreement and will last for four months.

Source: GOV.uk

Food Export News

8. Fortnum & Mason resumes EU exports after two years

Fortnum & Mason is resuming its exports to the European Union after more than two years.

The luxury food and drink retailer had stopped its popular online delivery service to the EU in March 2021 due to Brexit-associated “customs challenges”

Fortnum’s is now officially delivering to 15 countries from a new dedicated fulfilment centre in Genk, Belgium, to avoid as much costly post-Brexit red tape as possible.

Source: The Grocer

9. UK feed wheat stalls as exports struggle to gain traction

The UK continues to be priced out the export market for wheat and has struggled to make substantial gains for several months now.

UK feed wheat futures opened at £185.5/t on 1 November for the November contract, with prices having remained fairly steady since early August.

Grain traders at Cefetra said wheat lacked any real impetus at present, with markets struggling to break out to the upside and also unwilling to push lower.

Export demand is limited, with Frontier reporting ample supplies from the Black Sea region and northern Europe.

Source: Farmers Weekly

10. British cooked poultry secures access to Japan

British cooked poultry products will soon reach Japanese dinner tables, thanks to a new market access deal expected to be worth £10m over the next five years.

Source: Food Manufacture

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