Exports continue to rise across the UK


8th March 2019

The number of VAT-registered businesses exporting goods across the UK has increased to 110,800, an increase of over 1,000 since this time last year, according to new figures released today (Thursday 7 March).

Published by HMRC, the figures also reveal that in 2018 compared to 2017:

  • Exports of goods from England increased by 2.1% to £248.6 billion
  • in Scotland, goods exports increased by 5.6% to £30.3 billion
  • in Wales, goods exports increased by 4.2% to £17.2 billion
  • in Northern Ireland, goods exports increased by 1.9% to £8.9 billion

Businesses have seen an increased appetite for UK goods from non-EU countries, with the number exporting to these countries in the last quarter rising by 1.3% to 49,900.

The most popular non-EU destination was the USA, where 20.2% of exporters sold goods to, Australia (7.7%) and Switzerland (7.6%).

When comparing 2018 to 2017, the strongest growth in goods exports within UK regions came from East Midlands, which saw the greatest rise in the value of exports (up 7.9%) followed by Yorkshire and The Humber (up 7.8%) and Scotland (up 5.6%).

In the final three months of 2018, the average value of goods exported in the UK per exporter was £780,000.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP said:

The continued rise in British exports across the country highlights the true exporting power across all UK regions. This is fantastic news for British businesses, who should be encouraged by these figures to take advantage of the clear opportunities available for growing their business overseas.

People from across the world want to buy British, and through our Export Strategy my department is fully committed to helping businesses make the most of international opportunities.

Launched last year, the Export Strategy set out how DIT will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of significant export opportunities around the world.

The Strategy sets a new ambition from government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP from 30% to 35%.

Notes to editors

  • The HMRC figures on number of exporters focus on Q4 2018 (October to December) and the comparison to Q4 2017 (October to December). HMRC figures on values of exports compare the year to Q4 2018 with the year to Q4 2017.
  • The Export Strategy sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world.
Department for International Trade

The Department for International Trade is a UK government department responsible for managing trade agreements between the UK and foreign countries, as well as for encouraging foreign investment and export trade.

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