Between March and April, total exports (including goods and services) decreased to £40.66 billion. In the same period, exports of goods decreased by 4.4% (an estimated £1.1 billion) to £23.4 billion. However Revenue and Customs have informed ONS that through routine quality assurance, omissions have been identified resulting in exports of oil being underestimated by about £700 million. If this £700 million is taken into account the goods and services deficit stands at £1.8 billion in April 2014 (instead of £2.5 billion) and the goods deficit was £8.9 billion (instead of £9.6 billion). This error was identified too late to incorporate into April data.
Between March and April, total imports rose to £43.2 billion. In the same period, imports of goods increased by 0.8% to £33.0 billion. The rise reflects increases in almost all key commodities, notably imports of food, beverages and tobacco which rose by £0.1 billion between March and April. Imports of manufactured goods were generally quiet in April, rising marginally from March due to several offsetting movements at a lower commodity level. Imports of ships was the most significant increase at this level with a monthly movement of £0.2 billion. This was attributed entirely to trade with countries outside the EU where the import level of ships reached a record high of £0.3 billion in April 2014.
In April 2014, exports of goods to the European Union (EU) decreased by £0.5 billion, but this all related to the underestimation of oil exports mentioned above. Imports from the EU increased by £0.4 billion to £17.5 billion, reflecting increases in imports of manufactured goods (specifically chemicals) and food beverages and tobacco.
In April 2014, exports of goods to countries outside of the EU decreased by £0.5 billion to £11.7 billion, due mainly to widespread falls in exports of manufactured goods. Imports from countries outside of the EU decreased by £0.2 billion to £15.5 billion, reflecting falls in imports of manufactured goods and fuels.