Territories experiencing the most growth included the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (30%), Canada (23.4%), Australia (16.6%) and India (81%).
The data, which covers both exports and imports of food and drink in the first half of 2022, found that chocolate was the UK’s largest exported food product worth £368m, up 12% since the previous year.
The data also found that to compensate for a 19% reduction in the volume of sunflower oil imports there has been strong growth in alternative products, with rapeseed oil imports up 125%. Despite the challenges of the Ukraine war and rising costs there FDF said the industry continued to show resilience.
The trade association urged the new UK Government to continue working with the industry to improve the performance of food and drink on the global stage.
It highlighted the new Food and Drink Export Council claiming it can play a key role in helping businesses take advantage of new export opportunities around the world. FDF said that growth opportunities in Europe should not be overlooked and a priority remains to improve the implementation of the UK-EU trade agreement.
“It is promising to see exports to EU and non-EU markets top pre-pandemic levels given the exciting opportunities presented by new trade deals with Canada, Australia, India and the Gulf Cooperation Council. These are vital to driving future growth in the UK food and drink sector,” said the FDF head of international trade Dominic Goudie.
“Our industry continues to show resilience in the face of multiple challenges including the war in Ukraine and sharply rising costs. It is important the Government supports food and drink exporters to help us drive further growth in new markets that will support the UK’s economic recovery.”
Food & Drink Exporters Association director John Whitehead said: “We are pleased to see the continuing growth in exports of food and drink in 2022. British meat and dairy exports are growing well and chocolate exports remain strong reflecting the continuing demand for quality British confectionery.
“The slight decline in exports of Scottish salmon reflects a seasonal dip in the production cycle and strong performance in the home market. Scotch Whisky remains the top performer with almost 23% growth since last year, ably supported by gin growing a massive 48%.”