The UK exported a record volume of food and drink products in the first three months of 2017, a study has revealed.
The research, published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), found that food exports had grown by 8.3 per cent year-on-year to £4.9 billion.
It says this is the largest quarterly figure on record.
Exports were boosted by a huge rise in the value of salmon, which leapt more than 50 per cent. Total sales of the fish accounted for around £186.7 million, the report said.
But whisky continued to top the food chain, with sales of £895.9 million.
The FDF said better marketing of UK goods abroad and the weaker pound were to be credited for the sales boom.
It said sterling’s 16 per cent fall against the dollar, driven by Britain’s vote to leave the EU, made UK produce more competitive overseas.
The UK’s top 10 food and drink exports:
- Whisky £895 million
- Salmon £186 million
- Chocolate £155 million
- Cheese £145 million
- Beer £139 million
- Wine £133 million
- Pork £109 million
- Gin £108 million
- Beef £106 million
- Vegetables £97 million
Ian Wright, Director General at FDF, said: “The growth of food and alcoholic drink exports we’ve seen in Q1 is very encouraging news for our industry.
“We want to work with Government to take advantage of increased demand for UK products overseas and the opportunities that leaving the EU is expected to create.
“It is also very pleasing to see non-EU exports performing beyond expectations. As the UK leaves the EU growth in exports is hugely important to our sector. We hope that with the determination of businesses and the assistance of the new Government, we can open more channels and provide a further boost to the UK’s competitiveness on the world market.”