Since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 (Brexit), business and industry worldwide has been paying close attention to the possible effects on trade with the UK.
The fruit juice industry is no different and Fruit Juice Focus (FJF) has been looking at any possible effects on imports of fruit juice into the UK from around the world since the Brexit vote. See tables for year on year comparisons – especially the post Brexit period July to October (highlighted).
Not from concentrate (NFC) orange juice showed a major surge in imports from July to October 2016 both against the previous eight months – November 2015 to June 2016 (Brexit vote), and an even bigger increase year on year for the period (July to October 2016). FJF attributes this fluctuation to the major shortage of orange juice pending due to the poor crop in top-producer brazil. The crop there runs from June to January. Conversely imports of orange juice concentrate continue to show a major decline year on year for the immediate post Brexit period July to October 2016 and against previous months.
NFC orange juice continues to show good growth in western countries at the expense of reconstituted orange juice. NFC orange juice is more expensive owing to the juice needing to be shipped with significant amounts of water with it. Whereas concentrate, as the name would suggest, has all the water removed before shipping and it is then added back in at the country of destination. The fact that the UK is still registering growth in NFC imports could indicate that UK consumers are not concerned about Brexit, and they see NFC as a premium product and are still prepared to pay for it.
Imports of NFC apple juice did not show any change for the four months immediately post Brexit. There had been a steady rise since the end of 2015 and year on year for the July to October 2016 period. For apple juice concentrate there are no significant changes. This could possibly demonstrate that NFC apple juice popularity is following that of orange juice NFC.
NFC grapefruit showed an immediate drop in July 2016 following an unusually high figure for August 2016. Overall the year up to and post Brexit was consistent. Year on year grapefruit NFC and concentrate are both showing a major increase in imports which is not connected to Brexit. FJF finds this surprising as grapefruit juice suffered a significant downturn in popularity between 2000-2010 because it has been linked to adverse reactions when taken with medicine. Grapefruit juice was very popular with the older generation in the United States who have since stopped buying it due to these alleged issues. At the same time the groves in Florida were bought up by real estate firms. So the decline in grapefruit juice has been attributed in the main to reduced production coupled with poor demand. What little juice is offered on the market today is very expensive. But these figures could be a sign that grapefruit is making a come-back?
Of the remaining three fruit juices analysed – Grape Juice, Pineapple Juice and Lemon Juice (and Lime) the import figures for both NFC and concentrate remain static.
Source: Fruit Juice Focus analysis from Customs Data