UK beer exports to China increase by 500%
British beer exports jumped 6% last year, including a five-fold increase for China, according to HMRC figures released by the British Beer and Pub Association.
Exports to India also increased by 417% and exports to the European Union (EU) by 5%, with overall exports to non-EU nations rising by 6%.
With a value of £584m, an increase of £84m on 2015, a total of 1.05 billion pints of beer were exported from the UK in 2016.
Currently, 63% of the UK beer exports go to the EU, with the remaining 37% exported to countries outside of the EU.
A spike in beer exports to China is being attributed to the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the UK government to decrease tax on beer and to cancel inflationary increase in duty in the upcoming Budget.
According to the BBPA, it is developing an export strategy to support the UK Government’s Food and Drink Action Plan. The new strategy stresses on deals post-Brexit and the importance of tariff-free trade deal with the EU.
It also noted that depending on IT infrastructure for efficient movement of beer can be critical for the growth of the industry.
Recently, 71MPs had signed a pledge card to support UK’s beer industry. The MPs noted that about 900,000 jobs depend on the beer and pubs industry which adds about £20bn to the UK’s economy.
BBPA CEO Brigid Simmonds said: “It has been a great year for British beer exports, but we can certainly do more.
“Continuing tariff-free access to our biggest market is essential as we leave the European Union, and our new export strategy will underline this. In addition, our strategy will set Brexit as an opportunity for Government to move towards a more competitive tax regime, which will help brewers invest and trade in developing markets around the world.
“It is vital, that given these challenges, the Government shows its support for our brewing industry, which produces beers that are sought after the world over. This is why we are calling on the Chancellor to cut the duty rate by one penny in the Budget on 8th March.”
Image: British beer exports increase by 6% last year. Photo: Courtesy of radnatt/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.