Once again, the whisky industry has bolstered the growth of the UK's exports of food and drink for the first quarter of 2017, thus making the prized distilled spirit one of the nationду»s most valuable export amongst other things.
According to reports, the UK's F&B exports for Q1 of 2017 had grown by 8.3% to reach a record high value of £8.3 billion. Amongst that, whisky remains as the UK's most significant export in terms of value as its sales increased by 9.9% to £895.9 million.
While whisky tops things, other UK-made beverages such as wine and beer also recoded significant growth. While wine experienced the largest increase in terms of volume exports by 13.8%, UK beers remains as the fifth most exported product with its export value increased by 9.5% to £139.3 million.
Ironically, it was the controversial 'Brexit' vote and the resulting devaluation of the Pound that boosted these UK-made products' export competitiveness the UK's Food & Drink Federation reports.
However, the weakened currency also led to increased cost of many essential imported ingredients and raw materials. This also meant that the UK's food and drink trade deficit increased by 19% to -£6.2 billion in Q1 2017.
Still, the news isn't bleak across the board as total export growth to non-EU countries was faster than those to EU countries in Q1 2017. The UK F&B industry's top three export destinations were Ireland, France and the US while the three export markets that saw the greatest percentage growth in value in Q1 were South Korea (+40.3%), Belgium (+37.3%), and South Africa (+31.2%).