EXPORTS from the UK have soared since the EU referendum result, with the volume of export trade rising at a faster rate than that of imports, new data shows.
In the first full set of published results since the Brexit vote on June 23, 2016, UK exports have been shown to have risen by 11.3 per cent to £617bn when comparing Office for National Statistics (ONS) data from 2017 versus 2016.
Trade of goods with non-EU countries grew by 11.6 per cent, faster than with the EU at 10.9 per cent.
Exports continue to grow faster than imports, narrowing the trade deficit by £7bn in the last year.
The UK’s service sector was cited as a main driving force behind the increase, with exports up 8.7 per cent to £274bn.
Goods exports also rose strongly by 13.4 per cent to £342bn. Best sellers including cars and mechanical and electrical machinery are going to market in countries such as the USA, China, and Germany.
The figures were hailed by International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, as proof of the power of the British brand.
He said: “In the first full year after the EU referendum, demand for British goods and services is higher than ever with exports rising by £62.5bn and the trade deficit narrowing.
“As I meet my counterparts across the world, one thing always stands out: the UK’s reputation for producing trusted, high quality products.
“These new figures are a testament to the hard work of companies up and down the country. As an international economic department, we will continue to build on this success by helping more firms export through our Exporting is GREAT campaign and global network of more than 1700 trade advisers.”
In a further boost, ONS statistics also released last week show manufacturing output reached its highest level since February 2008.
The figures were welcomed by leading industry bodies, demonstrating how Britain’s trading presence has grown as the country gets ready to leave the EU and forge our own free trade agreements.
Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “One of the UK’s key objectives over the coming years must be to raise our game on international trade.
“We have to get more companies selling abroad, increase volumes from current exporters, strengthen links with existing trade partners, and forge new ones in markets where our reach is currently limited.
“We have great companies, some world-leading industries and huge potential. The trade narrowed shrank between 2016 and 2017, and IoD member exports are up, but there are still significant challenges ahead, so it is imperative that the Department for International Trade and businesses work together to deliver a step-change in our trade performance.”
One company deriving huge benefits from increasing exports is Huddersfield-based, Paxman Coolers.
A specialist in scalp cooling treatment, it has helped more than 100,000 cancer patients throughout the world to keep their hair during chemotherapy treatment.
In addition to Paxman’s significant UK presence which sees over 1,000 systems available in over 95 per cent of UK hospitals, its products are being used extensively around the world with the company exporting to 26 countries on five continents in 2017 alone.
During a rigorous FDA clearance process, the Paxman scalp cooler was used in the first-ever randomized clinical trial to evaluate modern scalp cooling, which took place at a number of prestigious US hospitals.
Following participation in trade missions to Houston, Austin and San Antonio Paxman now has a 12 month plan to install 250 systems across the United States and will be working with a large number of cancer centres and large community oncology groups to roll out their scalp cooling systems.
Managing director of Paxman, Richard Paxman said: “I am delighted with the support from DIT. The contacts and support has been wonderful and really provided us the assistance we need to enter in to this exciting market.”