Wales sees decrease in share of manufacturing exports to EU
Wales and most English regions are seeing a downward trend in their share of manufacturing exports to the EU, new research suggests.
The development shows a potential structural shift in the UK’s trade patterns, according to analysis published by Make UK and business advisory firm BDO.
The study of official data found that the UK’s share of manufacturing exports to the EU increased in 2022 to 52% from 50% in 2019.
But this was a result of increases in the share of exports to the EU from Northern Ireland and Scotland over the same period, without which the overall UK share of goods exports would also be on a downward trend.
Verity Davidge, director of policy at Make UK, said: “Given the EU remains the most important market for manufacturers, efforts still need to be made to improve the existing agreement with the EU to reduce barriers to trade.
“However, UK trade patterns may be undergoing a gradual shift with many companies continuing to look for opportunities in other markets. This has significant implications for export support and Government policy must reflect this.”
Richard Austin, of BDO, said: “These figures are reflective of the combined impact of Brexit, the pandemic and the Ukraine war.
“UK regions are the powerhouses of UK manufacturing but the body blows of the last few years are taking their toll. Manufacturers have warned that the shackles of red tape, supply chain pressures and rising costs are at risk of permanently undermining the competitiveness of UK goods.”
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