The United Kingdom is generally acknowledged as the eleventh largest economy worldwide and the fifth largest trading nation. It is highly dependent on foreign trade, so it must import almost all of its raw materials and about a third of its food, leading to a trade imbalance which has grown from about $30 billion in the mid 1990s to around $174 billion today.
The annual total of imports to the UK has increased by about 9% since 2010 to about $682.5 billion, with the top imports machinery (13.2%), oil (11.3%) and vehicles (11%). The main import partners are Germany ($85 billion), China ($55 billion), the Netherlands ($50 billion), France ($38 billion) and the United States ($36 billion).
Exporting to The United Kingdom? Contact our local experts
Trade finance is a revolving facility which some banks and specialist lenders offer - it enables SMEs to purchase stock supplies and can help ease cash management.
Generally, a trade financier will fund up to 100% of the cost of the receivables, including charges (e.g. delivery costs).
Trade finance offers added advantages over more traditional bank funding like asset finance or business loans. Trade finance provides quick funding without affecting existing relationships with banks.
If you're an SME importing or exporting products from or to other countries, then a trade finance facility would assist your company to fund this through offering a letter of credit or some form of cash advance.
If you are looking to export inventory to other markets, you may require finance for exporting, which is an agreement between you (the exporter), and the foreign importer. A alternative finance bank will advance you the cost of producing the products that you are exporting (as a loan), either once you have sent the goods, or before you have manufactured them. Once the importer has received the inventory and pays you for the import, you will repay the advance from the export funder over an agreed period.
Read the TFG Exporters Guide here.
Importing from The United Kingdom? Contact our local experts