This is a consolidation of the more rapid growth seen last year as the market continues to edge back towards the record high of £10.1bn that was reached in 1996 before the BSE and foot and mouth disease crises.
Food and drink, which account for two-thirds of all exports, are outperforming the total UK export market, which is down 1%.
Food from Britain said there had been a boom in sales of high quality convenience and processed foods, which had resulted in sales of added-value products growing 3% to £2.89bn. Beverages also played a big part in this growth, with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages up 2%.
In this sector, whisky takes the lion’s share of the market, at just under £1bn a year.