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13th March 2024

Latest trade figures detail imports and exports landscape

The ONS has released the trade figures for January.

Paul Butterworth, CEO at Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:

“It is promising to see that despite recent disruption to shipping in the Red Sea, goods and services imports were largely unaffected in January with the value of imports increasing. Exporting, on the other hand, remains more changeable month by month. Goods exports to the EU increased in January while exports to non-EU countries decreased.

“Almost two thirds of businesses in Wales export to international markets, according to our Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 of 2023, and will be interested to see what impact new trade agreements outside of the EU and membership of the CPTPP, once in effect, will have on international trade and exporting opportunities in particular.”

William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:

“There was a slow start to the year in export volumes for both goods and services, with a modest rise in volumes of goods imports.  But the UK is not alone in experiencing this, with US and major European markets experiencing similar trends.

“While there are several global factors at play in this, it was interesting that the ONS did not detect any impact in terms of Red Sea disruption on imports.

“UK firms remain keen to see a more effective delivery of the government’s Exports Strategy to help them stay competitive. This means taking steps to secure supply chains through critical minerals agreements with key partners, and a reduction in the costs of doing trade with our key export markets.”


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