Last reviewed 22 June 2022
Summarising statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), the Department for International Trade (DIT) has produced the latest edition of UK Trade in Numbers, which sets out the UK’s economic relationship with other countries and illustrates the UK’s bilateral trade on top exports and imports for goods and services.
In addition, it depicts foreign direct investment (FDI), regional trade statistics and the UK’s position in global trade and investment rankings.
In terms of exports of goods and services, in 2020 the UK ranked sixth globally, the same as in 2019. It was also sixth for imports of goods and services, down from fourth in 2019.
The statistical report shows that the value of UK total trade in the 12 months to the end of April 2022 was £1364 billion, up 13.5% on the previous 12 months with exports having increased by 8.9% and imports by 18.1%.
In the four quarters to the end of December 2021, the report indicates that UK exports to the EU rose by 3.1% while imports from the Union fell by 3.2%. Over the same period, exports to non-EU countries rose by 2.2% while imports increased by 20.2%.
A chart shows that the USA was easily the largest market for UK exports, taking £132.2 billion, with Germany, in second place, taking £46.6 billion followed by the Netherlands (£43 billion) and Ireland (£41.3 billion).
China was in sixth place with £37 billion while India was down in 20th (£8.4 billion).
London, with £183.7 billion in 2019, exported more than the next two UK nations or English regions put together: the South East of England with £98.6 billion and Scotland with £60.6 billion. Apart from Northern Ireland (£13.2 billion), the North East of England was the worst performer with £20.2 billion.