NOTE: Iowa Farm Bureau will be taking 22 members and staff to the U.K. in June for its annual Market Study Tour. The goal of the trip is to get a better understanding of the impacts of Brexit on U.S., U.K., and E.U. trade and relationships. Please contact Stacy Stevens at for information regarding applying for future market study tours. 

The U.K. is a net importer of food, feed, and drinks (FFD) (i.e., imports are higher than exports). In 2021, as reported in the Agriculture in the United Kingdom data sets (Gov UK), the U.K.’s value of FFD exports to all countries was estimated at $25.2 billion USD. At the same time, the U.K. imported from all sources $57 billion USD worth of FFD. The top five suppliers of FFD to the U.K. were the Netherlands (10%), France (9.0%), Irish Republic (8.5%), Spain (7.1%), and Germany (6.8%). The U.S. was the 9th largest supplier of FFD to the U.K. with 2.6% of total imports. Fruits and vegetable preparations represented the top value group of commodities included in U.K. imports of FFD in 2021 at $13.0 billion USD, followed by beverages ($7.18 billion USD) and meat and meat preparations ($7.18 billion USD) (see Figure 1). 


Figure 1. U.K. Imports of Food, Feed, and Drinks in 2021 (Billion USD)

According to USDA-FAS, the United Kingdom was the 14th largest export market for U.S. agricultural commodities in 2021. Data from USDA-FAS indicates that U.S. agricultural exports to the U.K. were worth $1.78 billion in 2022, which was down 1.6% year-over-year. The top five U.S. commodities exported to the U.K. in 2022 were wine and related products ($166.4 million USD), ethanol (non-beverage) ($161.9 million USD), tree nuts ($161.8 million USD), distilled spirits ($158.6 million USD), soybeans ($119.4 million USD), food preparations ($118.9 million USD). Other commodities among the top ten value U.S. agricultural commodities exported to the U.K. include: essential oils ($66.5 million USD), seafood products ($63.4 million USD), dextrin, peptones, & proteins ($63.4 million USD), and bakery goods, cereals, & pasta ($51.0 million USD).

Although in 2022 wine and related products were the top value U.S. agricultural commodities exported to the U.K., they declined in value by $45.8 million USD compared with 2021. U.S. exports to the U.K. also declining in value by more than $10 million USD were food preparations, essential oils, and tree nuts, which were down by $32.6 million USD, $12.8 million USD, and $10.5 million USD, respectively. 

On the other hand, U.S. commodities exported to the U.K. increasing in value by more than $50.0 million USD in 2022 relative to the previous year were ethanol (up $59.6 million USD), soybeans (up $54.6 million USD), and distilled spirits (up $51.9 million USD). 

Considering total U.S. agricultural commodity exports to the world, including bulk, intermediate, and consumer oriented in 2022 ($196.04 billion USD), exports of U.S. agricultural commodities to the U.K. ($1.78 billion USD) had a share of 0.9%; however, among the top ten US agricultural commodities exported to the U.K., wine and related products and distilled spirits made up 11.4% and 7.7%, respectively, of total U.S. exports of these two commodities. 

Figure 2. U.S. Top Ten Agricultural Exports to United Kingdom (Million USD)

[1] Among all categories included in the food, feed, and drinks (FFD) group, only in one of them, beverages, exports have exceeded imports during the last 12 years.