German confectionery manufacturers suffer export slump due to Brexit

BERLIN, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Exports of German confectionery manufacturers "deteriorated considerably" since the beginning of the year due to Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, the Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) said on Tuesday.

One in three German confectionery manufacturers recorded "considerable problems" in supplying the British market following the completion of Brexit at the end of last year, according to a member survey by BDSI.

Around 58 percent of German producers of sweets regarded the "very complex new customs formalities as the biggest challenge to smooth logistics operations," the survey found.

Around 15 percent of companies feared that their products would be temporarily out of stock in British grocery trade due to logistical problems. Almost one in ten companies even stopped all exports to the British market at the start of the year, the survey showed.

Driver shortages and health-related entry restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis were also seen as "major challenges," BDSI noted. Many drivers who had been stuck in Britain for days due to border closures at the end of last year were no longer willing to accept orders going to Britain.

Britain was the second most important export market for German confectionery manufacturers as almost ten percent of German confectionery goods were exported there, according to BDSI.

Last year, the German confectionery industry remained "widely stable" both in terms of production volume and turnover. However, the industry's important export business declined, with export turnover decreasing by 3.3 percent year-on-year to around 8.4 billion euros (10.1 billion U.S. dollars), BDSI said last week.

Export business showed a "negative development" due to the global COVID-19 crisis and further uncertainties regarding world trade such as the consequences of Brexit or "the continuing imposition of U.S. punitive tariffs on sweet biscuits and wafer products of German manufacturers," BDSI noted.

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