Export growth driven by UK drinks industry

UK drinks exports reached £8.3 billion last year, up 7 per cent on the previous year, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Government say record demand for British soft drinks, spirits and wine has seen exports more than double in the last 15 years. They added that unprecedented demand for British beverages such as whisky and gin in October and November saw a 23 per cent increase on the 12 monthly average, as people stocked up ahead of the festive period.

ONS data shows that UK exports reached £639.9 billion in the year to February 2019, a 3.1 per cent increase on the previous year.

Non-EU countries were the top destination for UK drinks, representing 63.4 per cent of all exports, with the US being the most popular destination, growing by 3.9 per cent to £1.8 billion.

While there has also been a substantial increase in demand from Japan and India, with exports growing by 23.7 per cent to £188 million in Japan, and 49.2 per cent to £179 million in India.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, said: “Today’s figures show that despite the challenging global economic environment, people across the world are continuing to demand high-quality British exports.

“The UK’s drink industry has global appeal and it’s fantastic to see the sector continue to deliver real tangible economic benefits for the UK. My international economic department stands ready to help businesses of all sizes achieve their exporting ambitions.”

The UK had a trade surplus of £1.6 billion in the drinks industry.