China’s taste for British beer drives exports up

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Rise: beer exports have increased significantly says the BBPA
Rise: beer exports have increased significantly says the BBPA

Related tags British beer International trade

British beer exports have risen by 6%, driven in part by a 500% increase in exports to China, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Export values of British beer rose to £584m last year – a boost of £84m on 2015 levels – making it the UK’s third most valuable food and drink export.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds lauded the past year as great for British beer exports, but said the trade could do more.

She added: “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 see 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.”

Duty rate cut plea

She continued: “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 of the Exchequer to cut the duty rate by 1p in the Budget on 8 March.”

The export market is a major source of business for many of the UK’s brewers, as highlighted by Charles Wells Brewery export general manager Tim Walmot.

He said: “Charles Wells has successfully exported beer to Canada for more than 25 years.

“In an ever-changing market, we have seen our two most popular brands, Wells Bombardier and Wells IPA, achieving double-digit growth.

“We have also launched Charlie Wells Dry Hopped Lager across Canada, after successful discussions with the liquor control board of Ontario, the world’s largest liquor buyer, with support from the BBPA and UK trade and investment personnel.”

Excited by increasing demand

Walmot added: “It is important that, as a business, we can continue to invest in our products and export activities to make the most of opportunities for British beer across the world.

“That is why we are supporting the BBPA’s calls on the Chancellor to support the beer industry at the Budget on 8 March.”

Innis & Gunn international business development manager Bob Hogg outlined the brewer’s plans to expand its distribution.

He said: “China is one of the fastest growing beer markets in the world and we are incredibly excited to introduce our unique range of quality craft beers at a time when there is significantly increasing demand in the category.

“Through in-market knowledge and learning, and developing our understanding of the emerging dynamics such as distribution channels, consumer tastes and the competitor landscape, our approach in partnership with our importer and distributor Dxcel will be tailored to fully realise the potential to grow our business in the market, ensuring the Innis & Gunn portfolio meets the needs of both trade and consumer.”

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