Figures released by the UK food and drink federation show UK exports from the sector to the EU down 41% to £578.7m (€666.1m) in February compared with £1bn (€1.15bn) in February 2020.
That makes exports to the EU down over £1.1bn (€1.3bn) for the first two months of 2021, trading outside the EU single market.
The biggest drop was in exports to Ireland, which were down 71% to £90.5m (€104.2m) compared with £307.4m (€353.8m) in February 2020.
Beef exports also fell from £33.5m (€38.6m) in February 2020 to £7.5m (€8.6m) in February 2021, a 78% fall
Falls of over 50% were also recorded for exports to Germany and Italy, while sales to Spain were back just under 50%.
Cheese is the British food export category hardest hit, down £26.5m (€30.5m), a 65% fall to £14.5m (€16.7m) in February 2021 compared with February last year. Beef exports also fell from £33.5m (€38.6m) in February 2020 to £7.5m (€8.6m) in February 2021, a 78% fall.
Whisky was the only category in the top-10 food and drink exports that showed an increase, up 9%.
Irish exports were down 31% to £236m
While exports to the EU were down 41%, British exports to non-EU countries increased by 8.7% in February to £696.9m (€802.1m) compared with £641.3m (€738.1m) in February 2020.
Imports from the EU to Britain were also down to £2.1bn (€2.4bn), compared with 2.5bn (€2.9bn) in February last year.
Irish exports were down 31% to £236m (€271.6m) compared with £342.3m (€394m) in February 2020. Imports from outside the EU increased by 5.8% to £1.1bn (€1.27m).
COVID-19 and pre-Brexit stockpiling will still have an influence on February trade figures which are also an improvement on January.