UK exports goods at “unprecedented levels”

Despite ongoing Brexit and political uncertainty, exports across the UK have surged to record levels.

The new statistics form part of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) new report into global trade.

The data, published this week, shows that every UK region – including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – recorded a “greater value of goods exports” in the 2018/19 financial year – the highest levels ever recorded.

In total, goods exports from England grew at a rate of three per cent, to £251.9 billion for the year, while Scotland grew at 12.9 per cent to £32.8 billion, Wales at 7.5 per cent to £17.7 billion, and Northern Ireland at 4.4 per cent to £9 billion.

It means that all four UK nations have now recorded at least three consecutive financial years of goods export growth, “illustrating the consistency of the success of exporters up and down the country”.

Likewise, the number of businesses exporting has also increased, with 110,831 companies exporting goods in the first three months of 2019 – 5,073 more than the same period in 2018 and the highest ever on record.

The findings come at a time of growing global trading uncertainty. With the UK set to reshuffle its political leadership in the coming months, it has yet to find a trade deal with the European Union. However, both aspects have yet to put a dent in trade among UK businesses.

Commenting on the report, Secretary of State for International Trade & President of the Board of Trade, Liam Fox, said: “Whether it is an exporter in rural Derbyshire or the Scottish Highlands, people and businesses across the world want to get their hands on British goods at unprecedented levels.

“I am delighted that exports continue to grow in every part of the UK, this shows we are working for every corner of our country and are not led by one region alone.

“I encourage businesses who are considering exporting for the first time to treat today’s news as evidence of the vast economic opportunities selling overseas offers, and that the Department for International Trade stands ready to help.”