How Much Does The UK Trade With Europe?

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December 12th 2019
Tax Week 36
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How Much Does The UK Trade With Europe?

We take a look at the trade statistics from July 2019.

The stress throughout the negotiations for the UK to leave the European Union has been centered around trade deals, particularly conditions and tariffs applied when the UK and the EU buy and sell goods to each other.

Considering the problems for the UK in getting a free trade deal it is important to understand the importance of maintaining trade with the EU by gathering statistics on exactly how much both sides rely upon each other for trade.

Over the last ten years, since the last recession in 2009, trade has been gradually increasing, with imports consistently exceeding exports.

UK Trade 2009 to 2019

We have the trade statistics for two months ago, July 2019, released recently by Revenue and Customs. The stats show trade with both EU and non-EU countries.

Overall the UK was a net importer, then means that the UK imports more than it exports. In July alone the UK imported goods worth around £48 billion whereas it exported around £30 billion. A net difference of £8 billion. These figures are for July but in general, the trend line throughout the year is around these numbers with a spikes in a number of months.

UK Monthly Trade

The UK imports the most from Germany whilst exporting mostly to the USA.

When ordered by value the mechanical appliances and motor vehicles are imported most, whereas highest valued exports include mechanical appliances and less frequently, precious metals.

EU Trade

The UK imported goods worth £22 billion in July, compared to exports to the EU worth £14 billion. The UK was a net importer from the EU in July - imports exceeded exports by around £8 billion.

non-EU Trade

Outside of the EU, the UK imported goods worth £26 billion in July, compared to exports worth £16 billion. Outside of the EU, the UK was also a net importer in July - imports exceeded exports by around £10 billion.

Exported goods in July by country

Country(£ millions)
USA4,896
Germany3,035
France2,009
China1,889
Republic of Ireland1,778
Netherlands1,774
Belgium1,120
Spain882
Italy870
Hong Kong711
Others10,954
EU Total13,726
non-EU Total16,192
Exports Total29,918

Exported goods in July by type

TypeValue (£ millions)
Mechanical appliances4,877
Motor vehicles3,598
Mineral fuels2,515
Electronics1,864
Precious metals1,845
Pharmaceuticals1,772
Measuring devices and guages1,283
Organic chemicals1,098
Aircraft977
Plastics792
Others9,297
Total29,918

Imported goods in July by country

Country(£ millions)
Germany5,191
USA4,435
China4,003
Switzerland3,781
Netherlands3,408
France2,376
Belgium2,058
Italy/td>1,756
Spain1,482
Norway1,363
Others18,266
EU Total21,740
non-EU Total26,380
Exports Total48,120

Imported goods in July by type

TypeValue (£ millions)
Precious metals8,586
Mechanical appliances5,888
Motor vehicles4,714
Electronics3,825
Mineral fuels3,634
Pharmaceuticals1,736
Measuring devices and guages1,238
Plastics1,217
Knitwear915
Other clothes845
Others15,522
Total48,120

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