Last reviewed 15 November 2023

According to the latest trade data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the value of UK goods exports decreased by £0.9 billion (2.9%) in September because of falls in exports to both EU and non-EU countries.

In its trade bulletin covering that month, which can be found here, the ONS also notes that the value of goods imports decreased by £2.9 billion (6.2%), again because of falling trade with both EU and non-EU countries.

Reacting to the news, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Head of Trade Policy, William Bain, said: “Economic woes at home and abroad are weighing heavily upon UK trade. September saw substantial falls in both imports and exports. Total goods trade values across Q3 this year also showed a significant drop on the previous quarter.”

He highlighted growth in services trade as one bright spot in the report although, even in this area of UK strength, the momentum from 2022 has slowed significantly. 

On sales to the EU, Mr Bain noted, fluctuations in fuel contributed significantly to the decline of 3.4% in volumes. Goods exports volumes to the rest of the world fell by 0.9% (£0.1 billion), with flows of pharmaceutical products to the United States being particularly affected. 

With UK traders continuing to have to cope with difficult domestic and global economic conditions, he called on policy makers to check the BCC’s 2023 Trade Manifesto which sets out a range of proposals for tackling these ongoing problems.

This is available here.