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Low pound helps overseas growth

Salmon and whisky sales push exports to record

Salmon and whisky sales helped the UK to export a record amount of food and drink on the back of the low value of sterling, according to industry figures.

Exports of the fish for the first half of the year leapt by more than 53% by value to £408 million, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said.

Total food and drink exports rose 8.5% to £10.2 billion with whisky remaining the top export, while salmon was second and beer rose to third after it overtook chocolate.

Exports have been boosted by the fall in the pound since the UK voted to leave the EU in June last year.

However, it has also pushed up costs for British businesses that bring in food and raw materials from abroad, the FDF said.

It said the UK’s food and drink trade deficit – the difference between how much the UK imports and exports – widened 16% to £12.4bn over the period.

There is also a growing taste for British salmon globally, according to Andy Bing, sales director of Loch Duart Salmon in North West Scotland.

UK salmon has benefited from problems in Chile where producers suffered algal blooms that killed a large amount of their fish.

The FDF warned that without a favourable trade deal with the EU, British exports could become less competitive.

Two of the biggest importers of UK food and drink are Ireland and France.

 

A UK government spokesman said it wanted to reach a deal with the EU “allowing for the most frictionless trade including in food and drink as possible”.

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