Latest trading figures “demonstrate the growing appetite for British produce outside of the EU”

The demand for UK goods and services “is growing across the globe”, a new study has revealed.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveal that UK exports rose by 2.7 per cent to £634.1 billion in 2018.

Encouragingly, the figures also show that the share of UK exports to the EU over the past 10 years has declined by nearly five per cent, with UK businesses instead preferring to trade with non-EU partners.

The figures will be welcomed by businesses during an uncertain trading period, largely spurred on by continued Brexit uncertainty and global trade tensions.

In total, the report shows that the export of goods and services to non-EU trading partners in 2018 reached a high of £345.1 billion. Likewise, the figures show an increase in the share of exports going to the UK’s top three non-EU trading partners – the USA, China and Switzerland – increasing from 21.3 per cent in 2000 to 25.4 per cent in 2018.

Over the same 12 months, the share of UK exports to the EU dropped from 54 per cent to 45.6 per cent, “demonstrating the growing appetite for British produce outside of the EU”.

Accordingly, exports grew fastest to India, up 19.3 per cent, followed by Japan (7.9 per cent), China (4.6 per cent), and Canada (4.2 per cent), while exports to the EU rose just 3.6 per cent.

Commenting on the figures, Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, said these latest figures “show demand for UK exports across the globe”.

“Now more than ever is the time for UK businesses to be exploring opportunities overseas,” he added.