The UK Food and Drink Federation (FDF) trade snapshot for 2021 shows a drop in food and drink exports to the EU of 18.5% compared with 2019, which eliminates the COVID-19 impact.
Compared with the COVID-19 impacted 2020, exports to the EU were down 4%.
UK food and drink exports to outside the EU were down 5.2% in 2021 compared with 2019 and actually increased 8.2% when compared with 2020.
In the top 10 products exported, overall beef exports were down 23.4% to £448m (€530m) in 2021 compared with 2019, while overall cheese exports were down 19.2% to £565.2m (€669.2m). Pigmeat exports were down 3.7% compared with 2019 and 11.6 % compared with 2020.
Most beef and cheese export sales are to EU markets and were seriously disrupted by the introduction of sanitary and phytosanitary controls.
It is widely reported that the UK will defer for a fourth time introduction of full border controls due in July.