October 10, 2016 / 2:40 PM / 3 years ago

Danish exports to Britain near 16-year lows in post-Brexit months

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish exports to Britain fell in August for the second straight month, official data showed on Monday, after Britons’ June vote to leave the European Union sent the pound to its lowest level against the euro for more than five years.

Exports to Britain from Denmark, whose currency is pegged to the euro, fell 10.5 percent in August to 2.75 billion Danish crowns (£333 million), from July, when they fell 4 percent.

Danish Agriculture & Food Council, a lobby group, blamed the weaker pound for lower exports.

The group’s chief economist Frank Oland said: “If the exit isn’t handled properly, our exports to Britain could fall significantly. It’s important that we keep Britain as close to the single market as possible.”

“Exports to Britain only need to fall a bit more before they hit their lowest since 2000,” he said.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen on Monday told British PM Theresa May he would work for a “friendly divorce” between Britain - Denmark’s fifth biggest export market - and the European Union when Brexit talks begin.

Separately on Monday, Arla Foods, a major exporter and one of Europe’s biggest dairy companies with major production facilities in Britain, said investments there would continue and that exports to Britain have risen so far this year.

“We have invested heavily in England for a number of years, and our main focus now is to create value from those investments. We will continue to invest in the UK even in a post-Brexit environment,” Peter Giortz-Carlsen, executive vice president at Arla Foods, told broadcaster TV2 in an interview.

Total Danish exports in August fell 3.4 percent, taking the country’s monthly trade balance down to 5.2 billion Danish crowns, 4 billion lower than the same month last year.

(This version of the story was corrected to clarify Arla Foods’ investments plans in paragraph seven and add quote in paragraph eight)

Reporting by Annabella Pultz Nielsen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Louise Ireland

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