Trade with other Members of the EU is worth more than twice that with the United States, with seven of the UK’s top export destinations being within the European Union.

This is according to UK Manufacturing Facts, 2019/20, the annual analysis of the sector published by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, and Santander which can be found at www.santandercb.co.uk.

It highlights that, while the United States is the single biggest export market for UK manufactured goods and services, worth £118.2 billion, exports to the top seven EU markets alone amounted to £236.5 billion in the same period (£256.1 billion if Switzerland is included).

Broken down by sector the export picture of manufactured goods is dominated by Transport (25.5%) and Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals (17.9%) which highlight the importance of these high value added sectors to the success of UK industry overall, the aerospace and automotive sectors in particular.

Seamus Nevin, Chief Economist at Make UK, said: “These figures lay bare the overwhelming importance for manufacturers of trade with our closest market and the need to avoid imposing any barriers which will make this more difficult. Whilst the United States remains the biggest market and, presents significant opportunities for export growth, it is a fallacy to believe that geography is not the biggest factor driving trade.”

The analysis shows that manufacturing remains central to the success of the economy overall, accounting for two-thirds of overall R&D, 45% of exports, 15% of business investment and 2.7 million high value jobs which are better paid (at an average £33,592) than the average figure for the whole economy (£29,832).

Last reviewed 8 October 2019