Exports of bread tumbled in the first half of the year but our sweet biscuits continue to go down well in foreign markets, new figures show.

UK exports of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose by 4.3% in the first six months of 2010 over the equivalent period last year, the Food & Drink Federation said.

Sweet biscuits grew exports by 6.6% to £102m while cake sales jumped 9.8% to £87m, according to British Baker magazine.

But bread exports slumped 9% to £40.7m and savoury biscuits fared even worse, almost 10% to £14.6m.

Total UK food and drink exports rose to over £5bn, driven by a 23% sales increase to non-EU countries, according to research by Leatherhead Food.

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