UK exports and imports falling

Today we released our review of UK export and import figures, following the release of HM Revenue and Customs Regional Trade Statistics. From January – June 2015, UK trade exports fell by 1.0% and imports fell by around 2.5%.

Northern Ireland was the only country in the UK to see a rise in annual import value. However, when comparing Q2 2015 with Q2 2014, the value to exports did increase by 1.2% the number of importers rose amongst all regions.

Did you know?

  • England increased exports to Saudi Arabia by 26% (£838m) this year
  • Northern Ireland imports contribute to just 2% of total UK imports
  • The second biggest export from Scotland was beverages and tobacco (£4.6bn)
  • Scotland imported 45% fewer ‘Coal, coke and briquettes
  • The South West of England contributed the same amount in terms of exports as Wales

Exports

In the year ending June 2015, the total annual value of exports was £285bn. The largest export contribution was from the South East, accounting for 14% of this, followed by London, at 11% of the total export value.

UK Exports by country / region, year ending Q2 2015
UK Exports by country / region, year ending Q2 2015

The biggest losers were the North East and Northern Ireland, both seeing decreases in total export value in comparison to Q2 2014. The top 5 partners that England exported to were the USA, Germany, France, Netherlands and China. Of this, the USA saw the largest jump in export value (increasing 16% to £33.8bn). “Machinery and transport equipment” dominated exports from England, which was around £90bn, followed by “chemicals and related products”, at nearly £38bn.

England – Top five export partners, year ending June 2015
England - Top five export partners, year ending June 2015

The largest decrease by product category was “mineral fuels, lubricants & related materials” which fell £8.1bn, 43% versus Q2 2014.

Imports

Falling by 2.5% in comparison to last year, the UK imported £405bn of goods and services from January – June 2015.

UK Imports by Region, 2011 Q3 – 2015 Q2
UK Imports by Region, 2011 Q3 – 2015 Q2

Northern Ireland was the only country to see a rise in the total import value, while England, Scotland and Wales saw decreases. England imported the most from Germany, followed by the USA and China.

Top 5 imports to England:

  1. Machinery and transport equipment
  2. Miscellaneous manufactured articles
  3. Chemicals and related products
  4. Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material
  5. Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials