Farmers should confidently begin considering international exports to boost profits now the UK has left the EU, the economy is ‘steadily unlocking’ and the Government’s focus is on becoming ‘global Britain’.
That was the message from Glenn Uniacke, managing director of UK international payments at financial solutions specialist moneycorp. But Brexit uncertainty has seen significant volatility in currency markets, leading to the weakening of the pound, resulting in the value of exports decreasing, putting pressure on the agricultural sector’s margins. Mr Uniacke said: “Yet the UK’s trade deal agenda post-Brexit provides a promising opportunity to explore export opportunities beyond the EU, and champion British farming on the global stage; an industry associated with quality and safety, alongside tradition and heritage.” He pointed to offal exports which have tripled over the last decade as a result of improved market access outside the EU. “China, the largest consumer of pork and offal, could hold great potential for UK exports,” he added.
“The UK’s recent trade agreement with Canada in December 2020 benefits dairy farmers, as the UK is the third largest exporter of butter and cheese to Canada.” The UK also recently signed a deal allowing seed potato exports to China. “China is the world’s largest potato consumer, with a high demand of both chips and crisps,” he said, adding there could be a rise in exports of seed potato, not only to China, but to Cuba too. Cuba currently imports about 17,000 tonnes of seed potatoes from other nations and the Government holds British produce in ‘high regard’. “In addition, a trade deal with emerging markets Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, would see UK barley exports grow significantly as these are key non-EU destinations,” he said. But Mr Uniacke highlighted there was a risk associated with trading in new international markets. “Emerging markets, such as those in Asia, are renowned for their unpredictability, due to lack of liquidity and export dependency,” he added.