Starch Europe calls for the "least disruptive outcome" of Brexit negotiations
8 June 2017
Market and products of the EU starch industry
Food and feed sectors
Annex-I products: native starches, sweeteners, wheat gluten, fibers and proteins for feed
Non-Annex I products: modified starches, fermentation products, hydrogenation products and polyols, others
EU Market figures (2014)
23,6 million tonnes of agricultural raw materials (1/3 maize, 1/3 wheat, 1/3 potatoes and others) into 10,7 million tonnes of starch.
€ 7.9 billion turnover
€ 551 million investment (including €82 million in Research and Development)
14 365 employees and up to 100 000 directly linked indirect jobs, mainly in agriculture
Food (60%) and industrial (40%) applications
Starch Europe calls for the “least disruptive outcome” of Brexit negotiations
Starch Europe regrets the decision of the UK to leave the EU and the launch of the Brexit negotiation process on 29 March. To preserve business between the EU and the UK, Starch Europe calls for a transition agreement to be implemented as from the 1st day the UK will have left the EU. It must be the intermediary step leading to a EU-UK trade agreement.
Of the 75 starch production facilities in the EU operated by Starch Europe Member companies, four are located in the UK. Starch processed in the UK is mostly based on local wheat but also from cereals and native maize and potato starches imported from other EU Member States.
In 2016, the EU starch industry exported more than 868 000 tonnes of starch products to the UK, bridging the gap between domestic supply and domestic demand. UK starch production is estimated to be 700 000 tonnes total whereas UK demand for starch is approximately 1.45 million tonnes.
Of the total UK starch exports to the EU (115 900 tonnes) Ireland is the main importer, amounting to almost 60 000 tonnes in 2016, i.e. half of total EU exports to Ireland.
UK Domestic production
UK import from other EU27
3rd countries imports
UK exports to EU
UK starch market = 1 472 000 tonnes
The above figures demonstrate a highly integrated EU-UK starch market. The structure of the EU starch industry will be heavily impacted by the potential market imbalances created if EU-UK trade in starch is severely disrupted by trade barriers.
As a Member of FoodDrinkEurope, Starch Europe supports the statement issued on 29 March 2017 by FoodDrinkEurope. This statement calls to minimise uncertainty for businesses, to ensure the least possible disruption of trade and advocates for a transition to the new agreement.
The EU starch industry also has concerns about quotas granted in the context of Free Trade Agreements with third countries (e.g. quota on tapioca starch in FTA with Vietnam) and seeks clarity on the way they will be addressed in the context of negotiations with the UK. Starch Europe also calls for strict and coherent rules of origin on starch products to be applied in the future FTA with UK and minimal regulatory divergence between both parties.
A more detailed Starch Europe position paper will follow when clarity is provided on the expected outcome of the negotiations.