Euro area annual inflation up to 1.9%

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.9% in April 2017, up from 1.5% in March 2017, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in April (7.5%, compared with 7.4% in March), followed by services (1.8%, compared with 1.0% in March), food, alcohol & tobacco (1.5%, compared with 1.8% in March) and non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, stable compared with March).

For full information and tables please visit the Eurostat update here

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Industrial Commodity Prices to Rise in 2017: World Bank


Oil prices to average $55 per barrel in 2017, rise next year

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2017— The World Bank is forecasting higher prices for industrial commodities, principally energy and metals, in 2017 and next year.

The World Bank in its April Commodity Markets Outlook is holding steady its crude oil price forecast for this year at $55 per barrel, increasing to an average of $60 per barrel in 2018. Rising oil prices, supported by production cutbacks by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC states, will allow markets to gradually rebalance. These oil price forecasts are subject to downside risks should the rebound in the U.S. shale oil industry be greater than expected.

Prices for energy commodities, which also include natural gas and coal, are projected to jump 26 percent this year and 8 percent in 2018. In line with oil price forecasts, natural gas is anticipated to gain 15 percent this year, led by a jump in U.S. prices. Coal is seen climbing 6 percent in 2017, due to earlier supply restrictions in China, which consumes half the world’s coal output.

Prices for non-energy commodities, which include agriculture, fertilizers, and metals and minerals, are forecast to increase in 2017, the first rise in five years. Metals prices are projected to jump 16 percent this year due to strong demand, especially from China, and supply constraints, including mine disruptions in Chile, Indonesia and Peru.

Download the April Commodity Markets Outlook

Labor strikes and contractual disputes at large mines have contributed to higher copper prices. However, precious metals are expected to decline by 1 percent this year and 1 percent next year as benchmark interest rates rise and safe-haven buying ebbs.

Among the components of non-energy commodities, the agriculture price index as a whole is expected to remain stable this year, as declines in grains are expected to be offset by price rises for oils and meals and raw materials.

“Favorable conditions have pushed stocks-to-use ratios to 15-year highs for wheat, maize and rice,’” said John Baffes, Senior Economist and lead author of the Commodity Markets Outlook. “Assessments point to a surplus this year and next for global supplies of key grains.”

Beverages, which include coffee, cocoa, and tea prices, are forecast to drop more than 6 percent in 2017 due to greater-than-expected supply. Agricultural raw materials are projected to rise 4 percent. The end of the El Niño/La Niña cycle limits upside price risk for the 2017-2018 agricultural commodity forecasts.

The World Bank’s Commodity Markets Outlook provides detailed market analysis for major commodity groups, including energy, metals, agriculture, precious metals, and fertilizers. The report includes price forecasts to 2030 for 46 commodities and provides historical price data.

Source: World Bank
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DIT Webinar: Mining Industry in Uzbekistan, 3rd April, 2-3pm BST

The World Bank reports that Uzbekistan has made significant progress in the last two years in facilitating trade, protecting investors and reducing regulatory complexity.  On 17 March 2017, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed an agreement with the government of Uzbekistan to explore ways of increasing its investment activity in the country.

With skilled local manpower and developed infrastructure the country offers good investment potential particularly in the mining sector. Uzbekistan possesses significant mineral deposits including gold, uranium, copper, potash and phosphates.

This 60-minute webinar is designed to assist the UK companies considering business opportunities in Uzbekistan’s Gold mining, Coal energy, Rare earth metals and Potash mining and fertilizers production sectors by:

• Raising awareness about the economic & political situation and the opportunities in the Uzbekistan market.

• Providing updated information on the structure of the development of the mining sector in Uzbekistan

• Providing a platform for UK companies to put questions directly to the speakers.


  • Mr. Christopher Allan, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Mr. Jan Lewis, Director at the Wardell Armstrong

To join the Webinar, please complete the registration form HERE

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Exporting Barnsley firm notches up 500th Sushi Machine Sale


A Barnsley business has sold its 500th sushi machine to a restaurant 8,000 miles away in South America.

SushiSushi, which started selling sushi machines in 2011, has sold the equipment to U Sushi in Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina.

Stuart Turner, the owner of SushiSushi, developed the Roller-35 Sushi machine to allow untrained restaurant staff to produce consistent quality sushi.

In February, SushiSushi received orders from Italy, Chile, France and the USA and has even sold products to Japan.

Total sales of the manual Roller-35 Sushi Machine have reached nearly £250,000.

“Our sushi machines have gained interest in many countries, with 100 per cent of customers finding us online,” said Turner.

“It’s amazing to think that customers as far as Tierra del Fuego Province and Reunion Island near Madagascar are choosing a piece of catering equipment made in Barnsley for their hotel restaurants.”

SushiSushi, based in Mapplewell, stocks a range of products sold to restaurants, chefs, retailers and cooking enthusiasts across Europe and the rest of the world, with clients including Great British Menu judge Michael O’Hare and MasterChef runner up Andrew Kojima.

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 2nd March 2017

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New research suggests more support needed to help women-led businesses expand internationally


New businesses run by women are less likely to expand internationally than male-run companies, according to new research carried out by academics at Sheffield Hallam University.

The study, carried out by a team of researchers from the University’s Business School, examines companies under five years old in order to assess the most significant factors supporting or hindering internationalisation.

The research found that women-led businesses and those based in the North West, North East and the West Midlands were less likely to export to international markets than others.

The team analysed data from the Longitudinal Business Survey on 1,881 companies that have been trading for less than five years.

They found start-ups that focused on innovation, placed significant importance on sales growth and had high levels of productivity were the most likely to internationalise in the first five years of trading.

They also found that the bias towards businesses from London and South East to internationalise early was less pronounced than expected, with a number of regions including Yorkshire and Humberside and Wales overrepresented given the proportion of new ventures in those areas.

Other key findings include a propensity for businesses in the manufacturing, business services or consumption-based sectors to internationalise ahead of those focused on education and personal services, construction, and primary sector activities such as agriculture.

The research also discovered that although internationalised businesses makes a larger contribution to the economy through turnover and output per worker they do not create a higher number of employment opportunities.

The team who carried out the research has made recommendations for support for women-led businesses to internationalise and also suggest support needs to be available across the country and in all sectors rather than focusing on areas and industries with a high number of international businesses.

They also recommend co-ordinated promotion of innovation and internationalisation as capabilities in these areas are interlinked.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Johnston, leader of the International Business and Economics Research Group (IBERG) at Sheffield Hallam, said: “There are some surprising findings in the research and some significant differences between businesses that export internationally at an early stage and those that don’t.

“We hope our findings will influence policy and ensure government support programmes are targeted in the right areas to help develop key industries.”

For press information: Jo Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email

Notes to Editor

 The full report is available to download here

Photo of lead researcher Dr Andrew Johnston attached.

About the Longitudinal Small Business Survey

 The Longitudinal Small Business Survey (LSBS), is a survey of business owners and managers, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The survey is designed to provide data on small-and-medium-sized enterprise performance and the factors that affect this. Sheffield Hallam University is part of the LSBS User Group, a group of 35 academic and policy researchers. Supported by BEIS and the Enterprise Research Centre, the User Group aims to share good practice and promote widespread awareness and use of the LSBS database.

About Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students.

It is one of the country’s largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity courses. It is also home to the UK’s largest modern business school.

Its courses are designed and delivered in close partnership with employers, professional associations and practice specialists to ensure that the skills our students develop are relevant. As a result, 93 per cent of its students are in employment or further training within six months of graduation.

As one of the UK’s most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. 96 per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds.

Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. 65 per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.


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International award for business courses at Sheffield Hallam

Tourism, hospitality and international business management courses at Sheffield Hallam University have once again received an international award in recognition of their quality.

Several courses run by Sheffield Business School have retained the EPAS Accreditation Award from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

The EMFD Programme Accreditation Scheme (EPAS) evaluates the quality of business or management degree programmes that have an international perspective.

The recognition means the courses will benefit from international partnerships, and students will have more opportunities to work or study abroad.

The courses were originally accredited in 2013 and following a 3-day inspection visit from the EFMD they have been re-accredited with a number of undergraduate courses receiving a full five-year accreditation.

The accreditation team recognised the Business School for the work that has taken place to strengthen the quality of international partners, the strong regional corporate connections and its commitment to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Sheffield Business School, said: “I am delighted with this achievement, as are staff and students from across the business school.

“EPAS re-accreditation provides a global benchmark for the excellence of our student experience, knowledge creation and scholarly community. In particular, it underlines the innovative steps we have taken to internationalise our flagship programmes.

“Our students will continue to benefit from this accreditation through increased opportunities to broaden their learning experiences by studying abroad with partner institutions.”

The University is one of only a handful of institutions worldwide to obtain this accreditation award for its undergraduate hospitality and tourism courses and for a postgraduate international business course.

Courses that have been accredited are: MSc International Business Management; BSc (Hons) Hospitality Business Management; BSc (Hons) International Hotel Management; and BSc (Hons) Tourism Management.

For press information: Joanne Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email


Notes to editor

Sheffield Business School is the largest modern business school in the UK, with more than 7,000 students.

Our education and research is informed, influenced and enriched by our relationships with industry addressing modern sectors such as banking, tourism, hospitality and events management.

We pride ourselves on the relevance of our work and we place employability and social responsibility at the heart of what we do.

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Doncaster Bakery serves up New Zealand Order

A Doncaster-based bakery has won a contract to export its handcrafted pork pies to New Zealand.

The Topping Pie Company has struck a deal with Smylie, which specialises in sourcing and distributing British food and drink overseas.

A range of pies made with British Red Tractor pork meat, Dinky Topped Cranberry, Cheese and Pickle and Stilton, have been shipped to Union Jack’s – which operates a chain of UK food stores in Auckland, New Zealand targeting the ex-pat community and domestic consumers alike.

Roger Topping, managing director of The Topping Pie Company, said: “New Zealand is a popular destination for British ex-pats and we know they crave a little taste of home, so we are delighted to be able to deliver a slice of Britain with the support of Smylie’s dedicated team of experts.”

Henry Elsby, international sales manager at Smylie, added: “We are pleased to be working with The Topping Pie Company to export its premium quality pork pies into New Zealand.

“The premium quality pies are going down well with ex-pats and Kiwis alike and now they have a taste for Toppings, we are planning to target other retailers and additional channels, including food service.”

Source: Matthew Ord, Insider Media, 22nd February 2017

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Record exports support Global Britain drive

New export figures reveal the growing demand for our food and drink.

Global sales of the UK’s food and drink have hit the £20 billion mark for the first time, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom will announce today.

New figures reveal exports grew by nearly 10 per cent in 2016, with food and drink sales to the USA – one of Britain’s biggest markets – up 12 per cent. China is quickly becoming one of our fastest growing markets, with the export value of pork skyrocketing to £43 million, an increase of over 70 per cent.

Alongside these global heavy-hitters, newer markets also saw record growth last year – exports to Malaysia grew by a whopping 143 per cent, while India emerged as one of our priority markets thanks to growing demand for Scotch whisky.

The figures reveal exports show no sign of slowing following the decision to leave the EU, and come as the Environment Secretary vows to ramp up the focus on international trade.

With only one in five food producers currently exporting, a dedicated Government team has turned its attention to ensuring UK companies have the skills, knowledge and confidence to tap into new international markets and take advantage of the global demand for British food and drink.

Speaking ahead of the NFU Conference today, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

It’s great to see the global appetite for British food and drink continues to grow – thanks to our well-established reputation for taste, quality and high animal health and welfare standards.

As we prepare to leave the EU, there has never been a better time to become more outward looking – developing new trading relationships and establishing our place as a truly Global Britain.

But the food and drink industry cannot do this alone – we need to give them the skills, knowledge and contacts to make the most of the opportunities ahead.

I want to see more companies taking advantage of these opportunities, which is why we’re expanding our team of trade experts to support UK businesses, encouraging them to take the leap and share their quality produce with the world.

As well as opening up new markets around the globe, the Government will continue its focus on taking advantage of European markets – with exports of salmon to France growing by 31 per cent and all food and drink exports to Germany up by 12 per cent.

France and Germany are among the priority markets identified in the UK International Action Plan for Food and Drink launched last October.

Through this plan, the Government is focusing on forging stronger links with key markets including USA and Canada, China and India to generate an extra £2.9 billion in exports over the next five years.

Food and Drink Federation Director General Ian Wright CBE said:

Exports of food and drink reached record levels last year and we’re committed to building on this success going forward.

We’ll continue to work closely with Government to help existing and new food and drink exporters take advantage of the growing international demand for our produce.

Ministers are also continuing to fly the flag for British food abroad – the Environment Secretary visited China in November last year, while Food Minister George Eustice will be visiting the UAE and Kuwait next week to support nearly 100 UK firms exhibiting at Gulfood and agree market access for lamb.

Through the Government’s Food is GREAT campaign Defra will continue its work to drive exports and increase global demand for the UK’s top quality food and drink.

Source:, 21st February 2017

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UK Parliament: Support for exports and investment inquiry


We are very pleased to see this and hope as many companies as possible will contribute to the inquiry. We reported on the outcome and findings of the UKTI effictiveness previously which did not make good reading. To remind you of the outcome see our article What’s Hot and What’s Not 

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee is holding an inquiry into support for exports and investment, following on from the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s 2016 inquiry into Exports and the role of UKTI.

Terms of reference

Interested organisations or individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the Committee.

The Committee is particularly interested in the following:

  • What progress have International Trade and Investment (ITI, formerly UKTI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) made on their performance since the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee finished work on its inquiry in 2016?
  • How has the absorption of UKTI into the new Department for International Trade affected its performance?
  • Are the Department for International Trade’s export and investment services fit for purpose and sufficiently resourced?
  • In the light of the Secretary of State’s admission that £1 trillion export target will not be met, are the Department’s export and investment targets transparent, appropriate and achievable? How should the performance of ITI and UKEF be measures?
  • What standard of advice do ITI and its International Trade Advisers provide?
  • What standard of support does UK Export Finance provide to companies seeking to export?

Terms of reference: Support for exports and investment Send a written submission. Deadline: 8th March 

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East Midlands Chamber: Dangerous Goods By Air – 3 Day Course

Course dates: 24-26 April
Location: Chesterfield
Member Price: £450.00 + VAT
Non Member Price: £575.00 + VAT

International law requires that all staff involved in the shipping, packing, documentation, handling, or carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air must complete a comprehensive training course approved by the appropriate national competent authority. In the United Kingdom this is the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the Air Navigation Order (Dangerous Goods Regulations).

Delegates passing the UK Civil Aviation Authority exam, are issued with a Certificate endorsed with a CAA allocated serial number.

For more information, please click here.

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