UK Posts First Trade Surplus since 2011


The UK posted a trade surplus of GBP 1.79 billion in June 2019 compared to a downwardly revised GBP 2.0 billion deficit in the prior month. This was the first trade surplus since February 2011.

Exports of goods and services from the UK grew 4.5 percent from a month earlier to GBP 55.41 billion in June 2019, the most since October 2016, after a downwardly revised 1.7 percent rise in May. Shipments of goods surged 7.6 percent, driven by machinery & transport equipment (0.2 percent); chemicals (16.2 percent); material manufactures (0.3 percent); food & live animals (1.5 percent); animals & vegetable oils and fats (19.4 percent) and beverages & tobacco (3.9 percent). In contrast, those of fuels declined (-21.4 percent). Meanwhile, exports of services increased 0.6 percent. 

Among major trading partners, goods exports to non-EU countries jumped 17.8 percent, mostly to China (110.2 percent), Hong Kong (47.9 percent), the UAE (83.4 percent), India (21.3 percent), Japan (1.3 percent) and South Korea (22.2 percent). Conversely, declines were registered in shipments to the US (-1.5 percent), Switzerland (-1.6 percent), Singapore (-11.1 percent) and Turkey (-16.7 percent). Exports to the EU fell 3.3 percent, in particular to the Netherlands (-17.8 percent) and Belgium (-2.8 percent), but rose to Germany (0.7 percent), France (0.5 percent), Ireland (5.4 percent), Italy (2.2 percent) and Spain (6.7 percent).

Imports to the UK dipped 2.6 percent from a month earlier to GBP 53.63 billion, the third consecutive month of decline, after an upwardly revised 2 percent fall in the previous month. Purchases of goods went down 3.6 percent, mainly pushed down by machinery & transport equipment (-2.5 percent); miscellaneous manufactures (-2.9 percent); fuels (-13.2 percent); food & live animals (-6.8 percent); crude materials (-4.8 percent) and beverages & tobacco (-3.4 percent). On the other hand, increases were seen in imports of material manufactures (3.9 percent) and chemicals (0.4 percent). At the same time, services imports went up 0.3 percent.

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from the EU dropped 1.3 percent, primarily from Germany (-11.9 percent), France (-0.6 percent), Italy (-0.9 percent), Spain (-0.9 percent) and Ireland (-4.9 percent). By contrast, purchases went up mostly from the Netherlands (10 percent), Belgium (1.8 percent), Denmark (8.5 percent) and Sweden (19.5 percent). Meantime, imports from non-EU countries slipped 6.2 percent, due to lower purchases from China (-3.4 percent), the US (-8.5 percent), Japan (-8.4 percent), Turkey (-19.5 percent), India (-27.4 percent), Russia (-9.3 percent) and Hong Kong (-20.1 percent).

UK Posts First Trade Surplus since 2011


ONS | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
8/9/2019 9:50:50 AM