UK Posts Largest Trade Gap in 4 Months

The UK trade deficit rose to GBP 3.36 billion in September 2019 from an upwardly revised GBP 1.76 billion in the previous month. This was the largest monthly trade shortfall since May, as imports surged 3.9 percent while exports advanced at a slower 1.1 percent.
Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com 11/11/2019 10:59:09 AM
Imports of goods and services to the UK grew 3.9 percent from a month earlier to GBP 58.95 billion in September, following a 0.6 percent gain in August, mainly driven by a 5.1 percent climb in goods imports, namely chemicals (4.8 percent), material manufactures (10.2 percent), fuels (3.4 percent); miscellaneous manufactures (2.8 percent); food (1.0 percent) and animals & vegetable oil & fats (39.6 percent). However, declines were seen in acquisitions of machinery & transport equipment (-1.8 percent) and crude materials (-0.7 percent. Meantime, services purchases were up 0.8 percent.

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from the EU rose 5.7 percent, namely Germany (7.4 percent), the Netherlands (5.6 percent) and Belgium (2.2 percent). In contrast, acquisitions declined mostly from France (-1.5 percent) and Ireland (-4.8 percent). On the other hand, purchases from non-EU countries were up 4.5 percent, in particular from the US (1.8 percent); Switzerland (147.2 percent), Japan (12.5 percent) and Turkey (5.4 percent). Still, imports fell from China (-2.8 percent), Norway (-31.3 percent) and India (-11.5 percent).

Exports from the UK increased 1.1 percent from a month earlier to GBP 55.59 billion, following a revised 0.3 percent drop in the previous month. Exports of goods advanced 1.2 percent, boosted by shipments of machinery & transport equipment (2.1 percent); chemicals (5.7 percent); fuels (11.2 percent); food (6.7 percent) and beverages & tobacco (4.3 percent). In contrast, overseas sales decreased for material manufactures (-4.7 percent) and miscellaneous manufactures (-4.2 percent). Also, exports of services grew 1.0 percent.

Among major trading partners, goods exports to the EU increased 2.2 percent, mostly to Germany (2.0 percent); Ireland (6.2 percent) and Belgium (8.3 percent). Meanwhile, shipments to non-EU countries grew only 0.8 percent, as higher sales to the US (1.3 percent), the UAE (24.5 percent) and Canada (17.7 percent) were partly offset by decreases in the ones to China (-2.6 percent), Hong Kong (-13.2 percent) and Switzerland (-10 percent).


UK Posts Largest Trade Gap in 4 Months