Pork was the star performer on the export front, increasing its value by 17.1% to £103m with countries like Denmark, China and the Netherlands increasing imports of UK product from between 50-60%. Poultry meat was also on the rise, growing 12.7% to £158m, with Germany increasing imports by 37.3%, and South Africa up 31.4%.
Lamb also showed a healthy rise of 8.5% to £178m with a strong increase in demand from Germany of 16.7% and Hong Kong rocketing by 328%. However, lamb exports fell by 7.8% to France, while Ireland recorded a 27.4% fall.
Beef showed a markedly slower climb, of just 0.9% to £188m. Belgium showed increased interest in UK beef, up 30.7%, while France also took more, increasing its spend by 24.5%.
Meanwhile, sausages saw a drop off in demand, falling 6.4% to just £8m on the export market, with Poland cutting back 76.1%, France 27.8% and Spain 32.4%. Softening those blows, however, was a marked increase in sausage exports to Ireland, with a climb of 35.2%.
FDF’s economic and commercial services director, Steve Barnes, said: “Q1 started slowly with the Eurozone gripped by recession and extreme weather, and the UK still feeling the effects of a disappointing 2012 harvest. However, Q2 was much better as the EU pulled out of recession and consumer confidence grew. The performance to non-EU markets was hugely encouraging in particular and a credit to companies investing to grow internationally.
“Despite the good news, there is huge untapped potential for boosting UK food and drink exports. So, to help equip food and drink companies with the information they need to realise their export potential, FDF is pleased to launch our new guide, ‘10 Steps to Export Success’. We’re also very proud to be playing a lead role in innovative initiatives such as the Open to Export Food and Drink Focus Week.”