International Trade

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Non-EU exports fall 7% year-on-year

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The United States is now the largest export destination, accounting for almost a quarter of non-EU exports at £3.2bn and recording a four per cent increase on the same period in the previous year.

This means the US overtook Switzerland, which recorded a 44 per cent decrease in exports year-on-year, as the largest destination for UK good outside of the EU.

China was the third largest export market outside of the EU at £1.4bn, Hong Kong the fourth at £0.7bn, and the United Arab Emirates the fifth at £0.5bn. Total exports were £13.9bn.

The report said: “All of the top five export partners have experienced increases compared with last month. [However,] compared with September 2013, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates showed decreases.”

Of the 96 sectors examined by HMRC, 39 registered an increase and 57 a decrease in non-EU exports in the year to date.

The two export sectors which recorded the strongest performance in the year to September, were precious metal exports to non-EU countries increasing 200 per cent to £20bn year-on-year and vehicle exports increasing three per cent to £14bn. This meant that precious metals became the top export commodity by value.

However, nuclear, the third largest and only remaining multi-billion-pound sector, recorded an eight per cent decrease, with exports dropping to £20bn.

The fall in exports means the UK’s trade gap increased, with imports exceeding exports by £3.4bn. This is a decrease of 38 per cent compared to last month, but an increase of 74 per cent compared to September 2013.

HMRC collects the UK’s international trade in goods data. UK Overseas Trade Statistics data is available in an interactive table at www.uktradeinfo.com.

Read Real Business’ piece on the six export markets you should be thinking about, which includes Hong Kong and China here.

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