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Inside the international suitcase: The UK’s top holiday exports revealed

Published by .gov.uk, 12th August 2017

Dr Liam Fox encourages businesses to export as figures reveal the UK exported more than £300 million worth of holiday goods in 2016.

As millions of people fly away for the summer break, so do British goods as latest figures show sunglasses, swimwear and ice-cream are big exports, accounting for more than three quarters of UK holiday goods.**

Latest HMRC statistics show the UK exported more than £302 million worth of holiday goods (2016), including £160 million worth of sunglasses, £93 million worth of swimwear and £16 million worth of ice-cream. UK flip flops are also a big summer hit, with £8 million worth exported around the world.

DIT helped to secure billions of pounds in export opportunities over the past year, setting up 11 trade working groups across 16 countries to strike trade deals and strengthen commercial ties with key trading partners.

Now the International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox is encouraging other UK businesses to seize the exciting opportunities posed by trade with the rest of the world after Brexit.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

From ice-cream to swimwear, you can find UK holiday exports in travel destinations around the world. Last year alone, more than £300 million worth of these goods have been sold to shoppers across the globe showing increasing demand for home-grown summer essentials.

As an international economic department, we are supporting British business to take advantage of the growing global markets after we leave the EU and design a trade relationship in Britain’s national interest. There has never been a better time for our dynamic and innovative businesses to export their goods and services abroad.

Overall latest trade statistics show that UK exports of goods and services have increased – exports stand at £547.6 billion, up 5.8% on 2015.

The UK also attracted more foreign direct investment projects than ever before (year 2016 to 2017). With more than 2,200 projects recorded, the post-referendum figures show an increase of 2% the previous year.

Global markets

In regards to trade, the European Commission states that 90% of global growth in the next 20 years will be outside the EU. In promising news for trade deals, outside the EU some of the biggest markets for holiday exports include South Korea, Australia, UAE, Hong Kong and the USA.

Sunglasses remain one of the top holiday exports, with £3.8 million worth sold to Hong Kong, £4.6 million worth of UK swimwear to the USA and more than £1.4 million worth of flip-flops sold to non-EU countries.

Card games are another must-have holiday item and £3.7 million of UK playing cards exported to non-EU countries last year, with £2.1 million heading to Australia.

Holidaymakers across the world are also keeping cool with British ice-cream with £1.3 million heading to non-EU countries.

Through great.gov.uk, the government gives UK businesses access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, helping them start or increase exporting with a ‘matching service’ for global buyers and lists thousands of export opportunities at a click of a mouse.

DIT has also doubled UK Export Finance’s risk appetite to £5 billion, to ensure no viable export deal fails due to lack of finance and insurance.

Notes to editors

**The worldwide exports of sunglasses, swimwear and ice-cream in 2016 equates to £269.6 million.

The UK exported £302.2 million of the following holiday goods:

  • sunglasses
  • swimwear
  • playing cards
  • inflatable balls
  • ice cream
  • travel sets
  • flip flops

This is not an exhaustive list of all holiday goods.

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Latest HMRC Export and Import Statistics – Released 10th August 2017

Date: 10 August 2017

The latest trade data was published by UK Trade Date today and the picture looks as follows.

In June 2017 the value of exports (EU and Non-EU) decreased to £28.3 billion, and imports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £41.7 billion, compared with last month. Consequently the UK is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £13.4 billion.

Key Points Highlighted by HMRC

  • Total trade exports for June 2017 were £28.3 billion. This was a decrease of £1.0 billion (3.5 per cent) compared with last month, but an increase of £3.6 billion (15 per cent) compared with June 2016.
  • Total trade imports for June 2017 were £41.7 billion. This was an increase of £1.3 billion (3.3 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £1.6 billion (4.0 per cent) compared with June 2016.
  • The UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £13.4 billion


Our Comments

The Top 25 Trading Partners for UK Exporters shows little change in the table (see below), but it is interesting to look behind the scene.

Whilst the US is still at No 1 and exports in comparison to Year to Date 2016 figure, export to the US has increased by 6.4%, however, the comparison to the previous month, ie May 2017 to June 2017  showed a decrease by a – 19.1%.

Equally UK Exports to China decreased by 18.8% in comparison to May 2017, dropping from 6th to 7th place in the table.

All other figures noted in comparison to YTD2016 to YTD2017 remain positive, bar Hong Kong (-2.1%) and Saudi Arabia (-6.4%).

At the top of the table of increased exports in comparison to last year is Turkey (+74.2%) followed by Switzerland (+60) and South Korea (49.7%).

Qatar dropped off the Top25 UK Export list, replaced by Russia.

Top 25 UK Import Trading Partners’ list sees little change.

Top 25 UK Export Trading Partners: US, Germany, France, Netherlands,  Irish Republic, China, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, UAE, Hong Kong, Turkey, South Korea, Sweden, Japan, , Canada, Poland, Singapore, , Low Value Trade (ZY), Saudi Arabia, Australia, India Norway, Russia

Top 25 UK Import Trading Partners: Germany, US, China, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Norway, Italy,Spain, Irish Republic, Canada, Japan, Poland, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Turkey,  India, Sweden, Low Value Trade (ZY), South Africa, Czech Republic, Russia, Denmark, South Korea, UAE

Source and full information on Top Trading Partners by Country, SITC or Chapters please visit  published 10th August 2017, HMRC

 

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New Export Partnership with Turkey to boost UK Trade

UK and Turkey will co-finance projects and contracts as part of an agreement to strengthen trade co-operation and boost investment between the two countries.

The government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF) and its Turkish counterpart, Export Credit Bank of Turkey (ECBT) have signed the agreement as the government increased its support for UK businesses trading with Turkey.

UKEF and ECBT will partner to identify and promote opportunities for UK-Turkey trade. They will also now be able to co-finance projects in other countries, combining their financial support to help UK and Turkish exporters secure major global contracts.

This comes as UKEF support for exports to Turkey doubles to up to £3.5 billion, making an additional £1.75 billion available for UK companies selling to Turkey and for Turkish investors buying British products and services. UKEF financing is also now available in Turkish Lira, along with 40 other global currencies, making it easier for Turkish companies to buy UK products using their local currency.

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, said:

This partnership is a boost to our trading relationship and businesses in both countries. Working with Turkey to secure contracts for UK and Turkish exporters, and increasing our support for UK businesses trading with Turkey, will open new opportunities, not only in Turkey, but across the world.

Adnan Yildrim, General Manager, Export Credit Bank of Turkey, said:

I am very excited about this partnership, as the opportunity for stronger ties between UK and Turkish businesses will have huge benefits for both countries’ continued growth and prosperity. This agreement lays the groundwork for significant engagement and will act as a strategic tool to enhance the already robust economic relations between the two countries who are longstanding close allies. I expect that both sides will start to reap the fruits of the agreement in the shortest time.

The UK and Turkey already shared £11.9 billion worth of trade in 2016, up 70% on 2009. The UK and Turkey are committed to further strengthening this relationship in coming years.

Source: Gov.uk, 2nd August 2017

Notes for Editors

  1. UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.
  2. It exists to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for want of finance or insurance from the private market. It provides finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil and ensure they get paid for export contracts.
  3. UKEF can support companies of any size and in any sector, from goods to services and intellectual property.
  4. UKEF has a regional network of export finance managers supporting export businesses.
  5. UKEF supports exporters with a range of products that include:
    • Bond insurance policy
    • Bond support scheme
    • Buyer & supplier credit financing facility
    • Direct lending facility
    • Export insurance policy
    • Export refinancing facility
    • Export working capital scheme
    • Letter of credit guarantee scheme
  6. Find the latest information on UKEF’s country cover positions.
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DIT is attracting top talent to trade team

Source: Gov.uk, 7th August 2017

Interesting statement following an article in the Guardian deemed incorrect reporting….

—————————————————————————————————

The Department for International Trade is building a world-class team to develop our  future global trading arrangements after Brexit.

A ‘Comment is Free’ article on the Guardian website on Friday 4 August incorrectly reported that a Canadian trade negotiator was the “first candidate” for the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser, claiming that he turned down the job after a pay dispute.

It also incorrectly asserts that we have no trade lawyers.

DIT was established by the Prime Minister in July 2016 to support UK businesses to break into overseas markets, promote the UK as a place to do business and trade with, and negotiate and implement our new global trading arrangements as we leave the European Union.

To do this we need to build a new major capability which was not previously required in the UK government. We have made huge progress in doing so over the past year, and shall continue to do so over coming years.

Here are the facts:

  • we appointed globally respected trade negotiator Crawford Falconer, to the DIT Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser role
  • Crawford was the top candidate and our first choice: to suggest otherwise is completely false
  • with 25 years of public service in international trade and foreign affairs as New Zealand (NZ) Deputy Secretary and Vice Minister for International Trade and Foreign Affairs, and former NZ Ambassador to the WTO, he will lead the new profession within the UK Civil Service
  • since its formation in July 2016, DIT’s headcount has increased to a global workforce of over 3,200 people
  • DIT continues to build on our trade capability – the trade policy team has grown significantly from 45 in June 2016 to over 300 today
  • the trade policy team now includes policy and country specialists, as well as expert economic analysts and lawyers
  • as with many other government departments, DIT has its own team of dedicated lawyers
  • currently there are over 20 lawyers working specifically on trade issues and are based at DIT – this will grow as we enter further talks and negotiations
  • there is significant demand for roles at all levels within DIT – in one round of recruitment for 96 roles, the department received 1,608 applications
  • our Permanent Secretary and Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser roles received 111 and 58 applications respectively
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EU Stats: Euro area international trade in goods surplus €21.4 bn

 

Euro area international trade in goods surplus €21.4 bn
€4.0 bn surplus for EU28

Euro Area

The first estimate for euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in May 2017 was €189.6 billion, an increase of 12.9% compared with May 2016 (€167.8 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €168.1 bn, a rise of 16.4% compared with May 2016 (€144.4 bn). As a result, the euro area recorded a €21.4 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in May 2017, compared with +€23.4 bn in May 2016. Intra-euro area trade rose to €162.4 bn in May 2017, up by 15.3% compared with May 2016.

International trade in goods of the euro area, € bn

In January to May 2017, euro area exports of goods to the rest of the world stood at €898.5 bn (an increase of 8.5% compared with January-May 2016) and imports at €815.6 bn (an increase of 12.3% compared with January- May 2016).
As a result the euro area recorded a surplus of €82.9 bn, compared with +€101.5 bn in January-May Intra-euro area trade rose to €771.2 bn in January-May 2017, +8.7% compared with January-May 2016.

European Union

The first estimate for extra-EU28 exports of goods in May 2017 was €165.4 billion, up by 15.9% compared with May 2016 (€142.7 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €161.4 bn, up by 17.2% compared with May 2016 (€137.7 bn). As a result, the EU28 recorded a €4.0 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in May 2017, compared with +€5.0 bn in May 2016. Intra-EU28 trade rose to €288.1 bn in May 2017, up by 12.7% compared with May 2016.

In January to May 2017, extra-EU28 exports of goods stood at €772.9 bn (an increase of 10.6% compared with January-May 2016) and imports at €776.6 bn (an increase of 12.0% compared with January-May 2016). As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €3.7 bn, compared with a surplus of €5.7 bn in January-May 2016. Intra-EU28 trade rose to €1 387.9 bn in January-May 2017, +7.6% compared with January-May 2016.

Main trading partners  – EU28 – bn €/% growth by country, comparing Jan-May 16 to Jan-May 17 figures

United States: 158.7bn, 6.6%
China: 80.2bn, 20.3%
Switzerland: 64.7bn,  14%
Russia: 34.1bn, 24.6%
Turkey:33.6bn,  3.3%
Japan: 24.9bn, 11.9%
Norway: 21bn, 8.2%
South Korea: 20bn, 14.3%
India: 17bn, 10.3%
Canada: 15.8bn, 11.2%

United Kingdom’s total export trade is noted at €166.6 9bn in fifth place in terms of Member States’ total trade, representing 9% increase from the previous year’s period Jan-May 2016

€78.2bn of which is in Intra-EU trade, an increase of 6% from the previous year, and €88.4bn in extra-EU trade, representing 12% growth from the previous year’s period Jan-May 2016.

Overall in the EU28 list, Germany is ranked first with €532bn total trade with Member States’ total trade, Netherlands second with €235.1bn, followed by France €195.3bn and Italy €183.8bn in fourth place.

Source: Eurostat, published 14th July 2017

 

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EU Stats: Industrial production up by 1.3% in euro area

May 2017 compared with April 2017

In May 2017 compared with April 2017, seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 1.3% in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April 2017 industrial production rose by 0.3% in euro area and by 0.1% in the EU28.

In May 2017 compared with May 2016, industrial production increased by 4.0% in both zones.

The increase of 1.3% in industrial production in the euro area in May 2017, compared with April 2017, is due to production of capital goods rising by 2.3%, durable consumer goods by 1.8%, non-durable consumer goods by 1.2%, energy by 0.9% and intermediate goods by 0.3%.

In the EU28, the increase of 1.2% is due to production of capital goods rising by 2.0%, durable consumer goods by 1.8%, non-durable consumer goods by 1.0%, energy by 0.7% and intermediate goods by 0.6%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in Lithuania (+3.8%), Romania (+3.5%) and the Czech Republic (+3.3%), and the largest decreases in Portugal (-1.0%) and Malta (-0.9%).

Annual comparison by main industrial grouping and by Member State

The increase of 4.0% in industrial production in the euro area in May 2017, compared with May 2016, is due to production of durable consumer goods rising by 7.5%, capital goods by 5.5%, intermediate goods by 3.8%, nondurable consumer goods by 2.6% and energy by 2.2%.

In the EU28, the increase of 4.0% is due to production of durable consumer goods rising by 6.8%, capital goods by 6.1%, intermediate goods by 4.9%, non-durable consumer goods by 2.4% and energy by 1.1%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in Romania (+14.6%), Estonia (+12.6%) and the Czech Republic (+10.7%). Decreases were observed in Malta and the United Kingdom (both -0.7%).

Geographical information

The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Sorce: Eurostat, 12th July 2017

 

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Latest Export and Import Statistics – HMRC

 

In May 2017 the value of exports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £29.4 billion, and imports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £40.2 billion, compared with last month. Consequently the UK is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £10.8billion.

Key Points

  • Total trade exports for May 2017 were £29.4 billion. This was an increase of £2.9 billion (11 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £5.9 billion (25 per cent) compared with May 2016.
  • Total trade imports for May 2017 were £40.2 billion. This was an increase of £1.9 billion (5.0 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £4.1 billion (11 per cent) compared with May 2016.
  • The UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £10.8 billion.

Top 25 UK Export Trading Partners: US, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Irish Republic, China, Belgium, Spain, Italy, UAE, Hong Kong, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Singapore, Poland, Low Value Trade (ZY), Saudi Arabia, Australia, India Norway, Qatar.

Top 25 UK Import Trading Partners: Germany, US, China, Netherlands, Fance, Belgium, Norway, Italy,Spain, Irish Republic, Canada, Japan, Poland, Hong Kong, Turkey, Switzerland, India, Sweden, Low Value Trade (ZY), Czech Republic, South Africa, Russia, Denmark, South Korea, UAE

Source and full information on Top Trading Partners by Country, SITC or Chapters please visit  HMRC, published 7th July 2017

 

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EU Stats: Volume of Retail Trade up by 0.4% in Euro Area

 

In May 2017 compared with April 2017, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.4% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April the retail trade volume increased by 0.1% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU28.

Monthly comparison by retail sector and by Member State

The 0.4% increase in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in May 2017, compared with April 2017, is due to rises of 1.7% for automotive fuel and of 0.6% for non-food products, while “Food, drinks and tobacco” fell by 0.4%.

In the EU28, the 0.2% increase in the volume of retail trade is due to rises of 1.2% for automotive fuel and of 0.3% for non-food products, while “Food, drinks and tobacco” fell by 0.4%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Romania (+4.3%), Lithuania (+1.8%) and Hungary (+1.7%), while the largest decreases were observed in Finland (-1.2%), Slovenia and the United Kingdom (both -0.9%).

Annual comparison by retail sector and by Member State

The 2.6% increase in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in May 2017, compared with May 2016, is due to rises of 3.5% for non-food products, of 2.1% for “Food, drinks and tobacco” and of 0.9% for automotive fuel. In the EU28, the 2.6% increase in retail trade volume is due to rises of 3.5% for non-food products and of 1.7% for both“Food, drinks and tobacco” and automotive fuel.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in the total retail trade volume were observed in Romania (+14.0%), Slovakia (+7.9%), Ireland and Slovenia (both +7.7%).

Geographical information

The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Source: Eurostat, 5th July 2017

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Commission adjusts imports surveillance rules for steel – commencing 11th July

The EU steel import surveillance takes the form of automatic import licencing. This means that importers need to notify the relevant authorities in EU Member States of their intention to import steel products into the EU. They will receive a document confirming that surveillance rules have been respected before an import operation can happen. This rule applies today to all but the smallest transactions, below 2.5 tons.

To make the administration of the system more operational, the Commission will now increase the exemption threshold for certain products from 2.5 to 5 tons. This will reduce the number of transactions falling under surveillance and remove unnecessary constraints on importers that make many relatively small transactions and often operate based on a just-in-time system. Most imported steel products, usually traded in high volumes, will remain under surveillance.

The Commission will also encourage national authorities to accept handling the procedure in a paperless way.

The Commission is working in parallel on a draft interpretative notice to respond to requests for clarification received from stakeholders and ensure the uniform interpretation of existing surveillance rules.

Background

An import surveillance system can be introduced when imports threaten to cause injury to EU producers. The objective is to collect statistical data on the volumes and price level of certain steel imports before the goods are actually imported, in order to better monitor market developments. The current system has been operational since May 2016. The EU had a similar scheme in place also between 2002 and 2012.

Source and further information: European Commission

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Yorkshire & Humber Exports rise by more than a Fifth

The value of goods exported by companies in Yorkshire and the Humber has risen by more than a fifth in the first three months of 2017, according to the latest figures.

Figures from HM Revenue & Customs have revealed that the value of exported goods by companies in Yorkshire and the Humber rose by 21 per cent in the first three months of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016.

Exports from Yorkshire and the Humber companies reached £3.9bn, up from £3.2bn in the same period last year, an increase of 21 per cent.

EU exports accounted for 56 per cent of the total value, while exports to North America accounted for 16 per cent and Asia and Oceania reached 13 per cent.

Machinery and transport exports made the most significant contribution accounting for 29 per cent of the total value and chemicals accounted for 23 per cent.

The number of Yorkshire and Humber exporters also rose from 8,959 in the first quarter of 2016 to 9,365 in the first three months of 2017.

Mike Thornton, head of manufacturing at RSM, said: “The decrease in the value of the pound since last year’s referendum has helped exporters and these figures show that the region’s businesses have been making the most of this.

“Looking ahead, however, the outlook for exporters is less clear.

“Last week’s election result has caused further turbulence in the political climate and businesses will no doubt be hoping for some early clarity on the UK’s future trading relationships with Europe once the Brexit negotiations start in earnest.”

Original Article: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 14th June 2017

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