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Trade figures expose Britain's reliance on imports

Food and drink imports into the UK were worth more than £23 billion pounds in the first half of this year, with more than £5bn in fruit and vegetable imports heading to the UK.

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Trade figures expose Britain's reliance on imports

Spain was the biggest exporter into Britain, with a total import value of around £1bn while goods were imported from 191 countries around the world.

 

Spain topped the list for fruit and vegetable imports, though Ireland provided the largest amount of beef and cheese while also featuring high on the list of beers.

 

Appliance repair company Glotech Repairs analysed HMRC import data and director Mark Reeves said it showed the ‘huge amount’ of food eaten in the UK which comes from abroad.

 

“There were some astounding figures, including the £5.4bn worth of fruit and veg we import in half a year, but we also stumbled on some interesting facts, such as Antarctica’s contribution of £7,911 worth of herbs and spices.”


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Meat: £5 billion

 

CHICKEN and beef were highlighted as the major imports in the meat category, with the Netherlands providing 43 per cent of chicken imports.

 

Poland contributed 17 per cent and Ireland 10 per cent.

 

However, Ireland was the major exporter of beef to the UK, providing 67 per cent of beef imports.

 

Cheese: £817m

 

IRELAND was also the dominant exporter in cheese markets, with 24 per cent of cheese imports Irish.

 

The next greatest supplier was France, which was also the top wine exporter, providing £110m of cheese, £5m more than Italy.

 

Cheddar made up a large amount of imports, with more than £143m of cheddar imported into the UK in the first half of the year.

Fruit and vegetables: £5.4bn

 

SPANISH imports of fruits and vegetables totalled 19 per cent of the imports entering the UK, with the Netherlands providing 11 per cent and South Africa 5 per cent, including £115m of grapes.

 

The Netherlands sent the UK £155m worth of potatoes, with £115m coming from Belgium.

 

Beer: £3.8bn

 

EUROPEAN brands of beer may dominate UK supermarket shelves and pubs, but Mexico topped the list for beer exports, with £52m of Mexican beer entering the UK in the first half of the year.

 

Ireland also played an important role in the beer category, supplying £45m of beer.

 

Other important facts

  • The UK imported £597 million of chocolate and more of this came from Poland than Belgium
  • More pizza is imported from the Netherlands than Italy, but it is the second largest provider of tomatoes and mozzarella
  • Sweden was top for fish imports
  • Israel’s top export to the UK was avocados

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