International Trade

UK exports record tentative increase

2 min read

11 December 2014

UK exports increased by £0.2bn to £24.3bn in October, driven by silver sales, according to the Office for National Statistics UK trade figures.

Erratic items, particularly sales of silver exports, increased by £0.1bn in September 2014 to £0.3bn in October. “Anecdotal evidence suggests that, for this specific commodity, India was the UK’s trading partner. Further increases of roughly £0.1bn were seen in unspecified goods and miscellaneous manufactures,” said the release.

Exports to countries within the EU increased by £0.1bn between September and October, primarily due to exports of fuels, which increased by £0.3bn. 

Exports to non-EU countries increased by £0.1bn (0.7 per cent) to £12.1bn, this included an increase of £0.3bn in sales to India, by £0.2bn to Hong Kong, and by £0.1bn to Turkey, Singapore, South Korea and Russia. These increases were partially offset with decreases in exports to Switzerland of £0.4bn and £0.1bn to South Africa, Saudi Arabia and China.

In the top ten trade destinations Belgium/ Luxembourg and Spain recorded the largest month-on-month increase in exports, at £115m to £1.1bn and £113m to £773m respectively.

The big winners in commodity exports were semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals, which increased by £90m month on month in October, and immediate goods, which recorded a £106m increase. These commodity classes also demonstrated strong growth quarter on quarter.

The UK’s trade deficit was £2.0bn in October, compared with £2.8bn in September, largely driven by a drop in oil imports. “Seasonally adjusted, the UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services was estimated to have been £2.0bn in October 2014, compared with £2.8bn in September 2014. This reflects a deficit of £9.6bn on goods, partly offset by an estimated surplus of £7.6bn on services,” said the release.

In the three months to October 2014, the trade in goods deficit narrowed by £1.3bn to £30.3bn. The narrowing reflects a £0.6bn fall in exports and a £1.9bn fall in imports.

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