UK exports to EU see partial rebound after January flop
Exports of goods from the UK to the EU partially rebounded in February 2021, increasing by £3.7 billion (46.6%) after a record fall of £5.7bn in January, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS said that the increases in exports to the EU in February 2021 were driven by machinery and transport equipment and chemicals, particularly cars and medicinal and pharmaceutical products.
Imports of goods from the EU, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, showed a weaker increase of £1.2bn (7.3%) in February 2021 after a record fall of £6.7bn (negative 29.7%) in January.
The more modest increase in imports from the EU were driven by machinery and transport equipment, and chemicals, particularly cars and medicinal and pharmaceutical products.
Total imports of goods from non-EU countries, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, increased by £1.7bn (10.2%) in February 2021 while exports fell by £1.5bn (negative 10.5%).
The total trade deficit for February 2021, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, widened by £0.5bn to £1.4bn; imports increased by £2.9bn (6.5%) and exports increased by £2.3bn (5.4%).
Trade in services imports and exports have consistently remained at a lower level since Q2 2020 as services accounts such as travel and transport trade continue to be affected by coronavirus restrictions.
An ONS spokesperson said: “The economy showed some improvement in February after the large falls seen at the start of the year but remains around 8% below its pre-pandemic level.
“Exports to the EU recovered significantly from their January fall, though still remain below 2020 levels. However, imports from the EU are yet to significantly rebound, with a number of issues hampering trade.”