United Kingdom 2019 Export Highlights

Top 10 U.S. Agricultural Exports to United Kingdom

(values in million USD)
Commodity 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 % Change
2018-2019
5-Year Average
2015-2019
Wine & Beer 306 363 263 258 249 -3% 288
Tree Nuts 207 200 212 197 211 7% 205
Prepared Food 158 191 157 167 151 -10% 165
Soybeans 77 90 - 109 100 -8% 75
Fresh Vegetables 67 85 84 86 77 -10% 80
Feeds & Fodders 64 58 42 68 54 -21% 57
Snack Foods 75 66 58 49 49 0% 59
Chocolate and Cocoa Products 34 34 39 42 41 -3% 38
Vegetable Oils* 29 22 28 40 39 -3% 32
Live Animals 73 82 87 90 37 -59% 74
All Other -37 -449 -200 808 554 -31% 135

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Trade Data - BICO HS-10
*Excludes soybeans

Highlights

In 2019, the United Kingdom (UK) was the sixteenth largest destination for U.S. agricultural exports, which totaled $1.6 billion, an 18 percent decrease from the record 2018 value. As trade disputes with China and other countries improved in 2019, higher prices and less product was diverted to the UK in 2019. The United States continues to be the second largest supplier of agricultural goods, behind the combined member states of the European Union. Demand for U.S consumer-oriented food products continues to differentiate the UK from many of its European neighbors. The UK was the 11th largest market in the world for U.S. consumer-oriented products such as wine and prepared foods. The largest export growth in 2019 was seen in tree nuts and eggs & egg products, up $14 million and $6 million, respectively. Exports of live animals were down by more than $53 million. Exports of distillers’ grains, wheat, and prepared food were down $34 million, $20 million, and $16 million, respectively.

Drivers

  • Exports to the UK were down primarily due to the record year in 2018, when the UK benefited from low commodity prices caused by the U.S.-China trade dispute.
  • Ongoing trade disputes between the United States and the European Union (EU) - which, until January 2020, included the UK – continued to result in high tariffs on some U.S. agricultural products and non-tariff measures on others.

United Kingdom's Agricultural SuppliersGraphic showing global agricultural suppliers to United Kingdom 2015 - 2019

Looking Ahead

Although the UK formally left the EU in January 2020, it remains within the EU customs union through December 2020. Until then, EU tariffs, trade policies and nontariff barriers will continue to apply for U.S. exports to the EU and UK. The United States and the UK launched trade negotiations in May 2020. A U.S.-UK trade deal has the potential to lower import duties, expand access, and remove trade barriers thus increasing bilateral trade. Given a reduction in tariffs, other factors being equal, there is potential for an increase in exports of processed foods such as snack foods, prepared goods, and wine in 2020 and beyond.

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