10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 8

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week 8

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 8 of 2024 – February 19th-25th, 2024.

Key News:

Export News:

1. New UK sanctions mark 2 years since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine

The Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, has today (22 February) announced more than 50 new sanctions targeting individuals and businesses sustaining Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Sanctions crack down on those supplying his depleted armoury with munitions such as rocket launch systems, missiles and explosives.

These new sanctions also target key sources of Russian revenue, clamping down on metals, diamonds, and energy trade, and cutting off funding for Putin’s illegal war from every angle.

The UK, US and the EU have today added 5 new items to the Common High Priority (CHP) list published in September 2023. These 50 items are critical to Russian weapons systems and for its military development. The 5 new codes apply to Computer Numerically Controlled machines, which are crucial in the manufacture and maintenance of vital military equipment.  Industry should take note of the updated list and apply tighter controls and due diligence in the exports of these items to ensure they are not diverted to Russia

Source: GOV.uk

2. SME Council membership revealed ahead of first meeting

The membership of the new Small Business Council has been unveiled ahead of its first meeting later today, as the Government reaffirms its commitment to the UK’s 5.6 million SMEs.

The Council will include small business organisations such as Small Business Britain, the Federation of Small Businesses and Family Business UK, as well as SMEs themselves.

These include Northern Ireland based furniture manufacturer Environmental Street Furniture who export to 27 countries globally; Midlands-based diamond drill specialists, D-Drill who have been crucial to major projects on the London Tideway and the Silverstone F1 circuit; and London-based superfood manufacturer Creative Nature who found a gap in the market for allergen products and are now stocked by supermarket giants across the UK.

Source: GOV.uk

3. British firms’ exports are almost certainly bolstering Russia’s war machine in Ukraine, Sky data analysis finds

“British companies are exporting hundreds of millions of pounds of equipment and machinery which almost certainly ends up in Russia, undermining the official sanctions regime and bolstering Vladimir Putin’s war machine, according to data analysis from Sky News.

The items – which include drone equipment, optical supplies and heavy machinery – are being sent to countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Uzbekistan and others, from where they are understood to be forwarded on to Russia.

The numbers show that despite the sharp fall in the flow of goods to Russia, following the imposition of trade sanctions after its invasion of Ukraine two years ago, large volumes of sensitive, “dual use” British goods are still finding their way to Moscow.

Source: Sky News

4. ‘We’ll never take food security for granted’ promises Sunak, as farming chief warns it risks becoming ‘poor relation’ to other priorities

“The head of the National Farmers’ Union has warned food security risks becoming a “poor relation” to other national priorities, as the prime minister today promises its members the government will stick “by their side”.

The NFU represents about one third (47,000) of agricultural businesses in England and Wales, but is a well-organised and influential lobby group.

In his speech, the PM will announce pots of cash to help farmers, coming from the existing £2.4bn annual farming budget.

These include £116m to help store manure and slurry and to stop it from polluting rivers when it is strewn on fields.”

Source: Sky News

5. Labour pledges to cut red tape for British farmers

“Labour has pledged to “back British farmers” by cutting red tape at the border and reducing the reliance on imported food if it wins power.

In a speech shadow farming minister Daniel Zeichner will say the government has left farmers “too vulnerable to low-quality imports”.

He will also pledge to improve the post-Brexit farm payments system so farmers are not left “out of pocket”.

In a speech at the National Farming Union (NFU) conference Mr Zeichner is expected to say a Labour government would “resolutely back British farmers reducing our reliance on insecure imports, supporting high quality, local produce for consumers, and ending the shameful new reality of those empty supermarket shelves”.

The shadow farming minister will also say Labour is committed to making the post-Brexit Environmental Land Management Scheme (Elms) work.

Source: BBC News

6. Brexit has cost UK food companies exporting to EU an extra £170m

Food businesses sending products to the EU have had to fork out an extra £170m in export costs because of Brexit red tape, with the changes described as being “catastrophic” for some exporters.

Data shared with the Guardian shows that in the three years since leaving the single market, exporters of foods of animal origin have had to pay the sums to secure sign-offs by vets before they can send their shipments.

In the past 12 months alone, exporters have paid more than £58m. The extra costs have resulted in a sharp fall in exports, particularly among smaller producers, with the value of meat products sent to the EU down by 17% since 2019.

Source: The Guardian

7. Exporters join AHDB at Gulfood to promote UK beef, lamb and dairy

This week, thirteen red meat and seven dairy exporters from the UK have joined us at Gulfood in Dubai to promote world-class produce to buyers from around the globe.

The show, held at Dubai’s World Trade Centre on 19–23 February, attracts thousands of buyers from the food and beverage industry and more than 5,500 global exhibitors.

Visitors to our red meat stand have the chance to sample lamb from the UK and watch a butchery demonstration by AHDB’s Master Butcher Martin Eccles.

Source: AHDB

8. Surge in UK lamb exports but big falls for beef and pork

A global demand for lamb helped drive UK red meat exports last year, achieving a similar level in value to the record levels seen in 2022, but beef and pork shipments saw major declines.

Red meat exports from the UK in 2023 were worth £1.7 billion, largely driven by strong demand for UK lamb on international markets.

Full year figures from HMRC show that exports were underpinned by the performance of exports of sheep meat, particularly to the EU.

The total value of red meat shipments to the EU during the period was up 2% on the year at £1.3 billion, while volumes fell by 12% on the year.

Source: FarmingUK

9. Exports of salmon, UK’s top food export in 2023, threatened by proposed Scottish surtax

Salmon industry trade body Salmon Scotland has joined 15 other representative groups of the Scottish food and beverage sector in voicing alarm over a surtax on retailers currently being considered by the Scottish government.

Representing a wide array of the Scottish food and beverage industry, the organizations, including the Scottish Retail Consortium, Scottish Financial Enterprise, and the Scotch Whisky Association, have jointly written to Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary Shona Robison ahead of the Stage 1 debate and vote on the upcoming Scottish budget. They expressed their concern over the implications the surtax could have on nationwide commerce.

The group pointed out that under the proposed plans, the business rate for medium-sized and larger commercial premises in Scotland – some 22,100 operations across all sectors – would soar to a 25-year high from April onward.

Source: SeafoodSource

10. ‘Not for EU’ food labelling plans already affecting investment in UK manufacturing

Plans to introduce ‘not for EU’ labelling on food products across the whole of the UK is already “having an impact on investment”, one expert has warned.

It comes after the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) wrote to cabinet officer minister Steve Baker warning about “our sector’s deep concerns” over the proposals, brought in under post-Brexit rules governing the relationship between Northern Ireland and the trading bloc, as first reported by the Financial Times.

Under the Windsor Framework agreement, since last year meat and dairy products moving from Britain to Northern Ireland must be labelled ‘not for EU’ to prevent them moving into the Republic of Ireland, an EU member country.

But the British government will insist from October 2024 that all meat and dairy goods across the whole UK must carry the labels – with some supermarkets complying even earlier.

Source: City A.M.

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