In quarter four of 2012, the deficit on trade in goods widened by £1.1 billion to £27.1 billion, compared with a deficit of £26.0 billion in quarter three of 2012.
In quarter four of 2012, total exports fell by £1.3 billion (1.8 per cent) to £74.3 billion, and total imports fell by £0.2 billion (0.2 per cent) to £101.4 billion. At the industry level:
|Section A: Products of Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing||-83|
|Section B: Mining & Quarrying||-797|
|Section C: Manufactured Products||-553|
|Section D: Electricity, Gas, Steam & Air Conditioning||-1|
|Section E: Water supply, Sewerage & Waste Management||-3|
|Section J: Information & Communication Services||-48|
|Section M: Professional, Scientific & Technical Services||-1|
|Section R: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation Services||+159|
|Section A: Products of Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing||+144|
|Section B: Mining & Quarrying||-41|
|Section C: Manufactured Products||-441|
|Section D: Electricity, Gas, Steam & Air Conditioning||-31|
|Section E: Water supply, Sewerage & Waste Management||+138|
|Section J: Information & Communication Services||+5|
|Section M: Professional, Scientific & Technical Services||0|
|Section R: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation Services||+17|
The data in this release are subject to revisions following the ONS National Accounts Revision Policy (67.8 Kb Pdf) .
The revisions to trade in goods reflect revised data from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and other data suppliers, revised estimates of trading associated with VAT MTIC fraud, later survey data on trade prices and a re-assessment of seasonal factors.
Trade in goods figures are revised from time to time to take in adjustments to the Overseas Trade Statistics (OTS) data and changes in the seasonal adjustment factors. Because of the Intrastat system, there is a need to revise the EU estimates over a longer period of time. Most revisions are small in relation to the variability of the series.
UK Trade in Goods by Classification of Product by Activity designated as National Statistics
The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:
meet identified user needs;
are well explained and readily accessible;
are produced according to sound methods, and
are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.
Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.
An article outlining the ONS policy on special events can be found on the ONS website.
Code of Practice for Official Statistics
National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
Understanding the data
The statistics of trade in goods compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are derived principally from data provided by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Overseas Trade Statistics compiled by HMRC
Since 1993 statistics of the UK's overseas trade in goods comprise:
Statistics of UK imports from and exports to countries outside the EU which have been compiled from declarations made to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), previously Customs & Excise.
Statistics of UK arrivals (imports) from and dispatches (exports) to other member states of the EU compiled from Intrastat returns sent to HMRC.
The Intrastat system is linked to Value Added Tax (VAT) and has applied since 1993 in all EU member states. Prior to 1993, statistics of UK trade with all countries were compiled from declarations made to HM Revenue and Customs.
For statistical purposes, the UK adopts the valuation bases recommended in theInternational Merchandise Trade Statistics Concepts & Definitions published by the United Nations. This means the valuation of exports (dispatches) is on a free on board (fob) basis, that is the cost of goods to the purchaser abroad, and the valuation of imports (arrivals) is on a cost, insurance and freight (cif) basis. This includes all expenses incurred moving the goods to the point of entry into the UK, but excludes any duty or tax chargeable in the UK.
Balance of Payments Statistics compiled by ONS
To conform to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Balance of Payments (BoP) definition, the value of imports required is the value of goods at the point of export (that is, the Customs border of the exporting country) rather than the value of goods as they arrive in the UK. The freight and insurance costs of transporting the goods to the UK needs to be deducted from the values recorded by HMRC.
In addition, ONS has to make various other adjustments to include transactions which are not reported to HMRC and to exclude transactions reported to HMRC but where there is no change of ownership. Table 2.4 in the annual National Statistics publication United Kingdom Balance of Payments summarises the transition from trade in goods statistics on an Overseas Trade Statistics (OTS) basis (compiled by HMRC) to a BoP basis (compiled by ONS) for each of the last 11 years.
Following a change in the pattern of trading associated with Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud, identified by HMRC, interpretation of the breakdown between EU and non-EU trade is more difficult. Some VAT MTIC fraud has affected non-EU exports from 2004 onwards. However, the MTIC trade adjustments are added to the EU import estimates derived from Intrastat returns as it is this part of the chain that is generally not recorded. Changes to the pattern of MTIC can therefore make it difficult to analyse trade by commodity group and by country as increases inflate both imports and exports. In particular, adjustments affect trade in capital goods and intermediate goods - these categories include mobile phones and computer components.
Classifications and definitions
CPA (08) data have been derived by mapping detailed 8-digit Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) data provided by HMRC to an applicable activity based on a Eurostat-produced correspondence table.
The CPA is the classification of products at the level of the European Union. Product classifications are designed to categorize products that have common characteristics. They provide the basis for collecting and calculating statistics on the production, distributive trade, consumption, foreign trade and transport of such products. A major revision of the CPA was adopted in April 2008. New concepts, such as originals and intellectual property products have been introduced, and further detail has been added to reflect new products. A correspondence table between the CPA02 and CPA08 classifications can be found on the Eurostat website.
Not all exports allocated to an industry were necessarily produced in establishments classified to that industry. However, the exports attributed to an industry are broadly comparable with sales figures for principal products of that industry. Imports refer to the industry by which the commodity was produced rather than by the importing industry.
The quarterly trade in goods figures published by ONS are on a seasonally adjusted basis. The seasonally adjusted series for total trade in goods are derived by summing or weighting together major commodity components. In common with other ONS outputs, the seasonal adjustment package used is X12ARIMA developed by Stats Canada.
The National Export System for non-EU exports introduced in 2003 led to greater efficiency (improving processing and thereby speeding up the flow of information) but led to a change in the seasonal pattern.
Figures on a Balance of Payments basis are adjusted to ensure arithmetical consistency, in line with conventions used in the National Accounts.
Equivalent information at constant prices is available from the ONS Customer Contact Centre (see the reverse title page of this publication). We can also supply comparable information for UK trade with the EU and non-EU countries. As a result of the methodological changes which could not be carried through to world totals, a few EU/non-EU series may have negative values.
A paper entitled
Statistics on Trade in Goods (GSS Methodological Series No. 36) (384.4 Kb Pdf)
gives comprehensive explanations of the bases on which trade in goods statistics are compiled, available on the ONS website.
The complete run of data in the tables of this Statistical Bulletin are also available to view and download in other electronic formats free of charge using the ONS Time Series Data website service. Users can download the complete Statistical Bulletin in a choice of zipped formats, or view and download their own selections of individual series.
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Copyright and reproduction
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Under the terms of the Open Government Licence and UK Government Licensing Framework, anyone wishing to use or re-use ONS material, whether commercially or privately, may do so freely without a specific application for a licence, subject to the conditions of the OGL and the Framework.
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Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
|Stephen Curtis||+44 (0)1633 456626||UK Trade / Trade and Transfersemail@example.com|