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Statistical bulletin: UK Trade, March 2013 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 10 May 2013 Download PDF

March 2013

  • UK Trade shows the extent of import and export activity; a key contributor to the overall economic growth of the UK.
  • Seasonally adjusted, the UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services was estimated to have been £3.1 billion in March, compared with a deficit of £3.4 billion in February.
  • There was a deficit of £9.1 billion on goods, partly offset by an estimated surplus of £5.9 billion on services.
  • The value of UK exports increased by 3.5% between February 2013 and March 2013. The value of imports increased by 2.6% over the same period. Monthly figures tend to be volatile. Although exports in March were the highest since July 2012 the broad pattern remains flat, as has been the case since Autumn 2011.
  • The widening of the deficit with the EU in the first quarter came mainly from trade with Germany and the Netherlands. The deficit on trade with Italy reduced slightly while the UK’s surplus in trade in goods with Ireland rose with an increase in the level of exports. Outside the EU, the UK’s surplus in trade with the US improved by around £1.1 billion in the first quarter, largely due to a recovery in exports.

Key Figures

Table 1: Balance of UK Trade in Goods and Services

£ billion
Balance of trade in goods Balance of trade in services Total trade balance
EU Non-EU World
2012 Mar -4.5 -4.2 -8.7 5.8 -2.9
2013 Jan -4.8 -3.4 -8.2 5.7 -2.5
Feb -5.0 -4.2 -9.2 5.8 -3.4
Mar -5.6 -3.5 -9.1 5.9 -3.1

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Figure 1: Balance of UK Trade

Figure 1: Balance of UK Trade

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Figure 2: Balance of UK Trade in Goods

Figure 2: Balance of UK Trade in Goods

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Summary

The balance of trade in goods was little changed in March, at an estimated £9.1 billion.  This was despite an increase in the deficit on trade in oil and other fuels (to more normal levels, following the low levels of imports in January and February).  Exports of semi-manufactured goods recovered to their average monthly level in 2012.  By area, the deficit on trade in goods with the other members of the EU was £5.6 billion, around £1 billion higher than the average monthly level in 2012, with a broadly offsetting reduction in the deficit with the rest of the world.

Figures of trade for any one month can be erratic. For that reason, to discern patterns it is necessary to look at data over a rather longer period.

Taking the first quarter of 2013 as a whole, the value of export trade in goods rose by 1.0%, while the value of imports was virtually unchanged.   As a result, the deficit shrank by £0.6 billion.  However, over this period the deficit on trade in oil reduced by £2.4 billion, largely because of a lower than usual level of oil imports.

The prices of exports and imports, which had declined through 2012, each rose by around 3% in the first quarter of 2013. This is likely to have reflected the fall in sterling in this period: the effective exchange rate index for sterling fell by 4% in the quarter.  Trade volumes of both exports and imports declined in the first quarter; for imports however, this reduction was wholly due to the lower level of oil imports.  The volume of imports excluding oil was virtually unchanged.

Volumes of trade in goods are calculated separately for EU countries taken together and the rest of the world.  Exports to the rest of the EU were around 3% lower in the first quarter, both in comparison with the immediately preceding quarter and with the same quarter a year earlier.  However, they were little changed to the rest of the world.  Imports from the EU, on the other hand, have risen slightly over the past year while there has been a slight fall in the volume of imports from the rest of the world.  These movements have caused the deficit on trade in goods with the EU to widen.  In the first quarter of 2013 the deficit reached £15.4 billion, with almost half our exports going to the EU and around 52% of our imports coming from the EU.

Figures by country are only available in value terms. The widening of the deficit with the EU in the first quarter came mainly from trade with Germany and the Netherlands.  The deficit on trade with Italy reduced slightly while the UK’s surplus in trade in goods with Ireland rose with an increase in the level of exports. Outside the EU, the UK’s surplus in trade with the US improved by around £1.1 billion in the first quarter, largely due to a recovery in exports.

This Bulletin also reports on trade in services.  However, the information on trade in services is mainly obtained from quarterly surveys.  That means that the figures for any month contain an element of estimation and some of the figures have to be based on projections at this stage.

Economic Context

After a contraction of 0.3% in the quarterly GDP figure in the last quarter of 2012, the first quarter of 2013 rose by 0.3%. The main contributor to the growth in output was the services sector which increased by 0.6%. However, in Q1 2013 exporting companies in the services sector saw a small decrease (0.1%) in the value of exports compared with the previous quarter, and were 1.8% lower than a year ago. Output in the production sector grew by 0.2% in Q1 2013 compared with the previous quarter; exporting companies within this sector saw a quarterly increase of 1% but the value of exports remains 2.2% lower than in Q1 2012.

The sterling effective exchange rate (ERI) is a measure of the value of sterling against a weighted basket of currencies. According to Bank of England data used for Table 16, the ERI depreciated by 0.7% in March compared with February and by 2.2% on a year ago. The ERI has depreciated by 6% since September 2012 to an average monthly rate last seen around September 2011. In March 2013, the value of sterling appreciated by 0.3% against the Euro in the month to February, and depreciated by 2.6% against the Dollar. Even though there was a small appreciation in March, sterling has depreciated considerably against the Euro since July 2012 (by 8.3%).

Value of UK Trade in Goods

In March 2013, the UK’s deficit on trade in goods was £9.1 billion; £0.1 billion lower than in February.

Total exports increased by £1.2 billion (4.9%) to £25.7 billion and total imports increased by £1.1 billion (3.2%) to £34.8 billion. At the commodity level:

Table 2: Change in Key Commodity Value, March 2013 Compared with February 2013

Exports (£m) Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on 'trade in oil') -46 +390
Cars +27 +83
Consumer goods other than cars +108 +175
Intermediate goods +163 +6
Capital goods +122 +106
Chemicals +301 -52
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals +172 +19
Fuels other than oil +231

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In quarter 1 2013, the deficit on trade in goods was £26.4 billion, compared with a deficit of £27.1 billion in quarter 4 2012.

Total exports increased by £0.7 billion (1.0%) to £75.0 billion and total imports increased by less than £0.1 billion (0.0%) to £101.5 billion. At the commodity level:

Table 3: Change in Key Commodity Value, Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

Exports (£m) Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on 'trade in oil') +728 -1688
Cars +931 +278
Consumer goods other than cars -481 +520
Intermediate goods +164 +456
Capital goods -72 -75
Chemicals -330 +8
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals -262 -212
Fuels other than oil +612
Precious stones +562

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Figure 3: Value of UK Trade in Goods

Figure 3: Value of UK Trade in Goods

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Figure 4: Value of UK Trade in Goods Excluding Oil

Figure 4: Value of UK Trade in Goods Excluding Oil

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Trade in Goods - EU Analysis

In March 2013, the deficit on trade in goods with EU countries increased by £0.6 billion to £5.6 billion.

Exports to the EU remained at £12.6 billion and imports from the EU increased by £0.7 billion (3.6%) to £18.2 billion. At the commodity level:

Table 4: Change in Key Commodity Value (EU), March 2013 Compared with February 2013

              Exports (£m)   Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on 'trade in oil') +30 +188
Cars -16 +63
Consumer goods other than cars -14 +116
Intermediate goods -60 +12
Capital goods -5 +67
Chemicals -29 +36
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals  +65 -43
Fuels other than oil               +209

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In quarter 1 2013, the deficit on trade in goods with EU countries increased by £1.4 billion to £15.4 billion, compared with a deficit of £14.0 billion in quarter 4 2012.

Exports to the EU decreased by £0.2 billion (0.5%) to £37.5 billion and imports from the EU increased by £1.2 billion (2.3%) to £52.9 billion. At the commodity level:

Table 5: Change in Key Commodity Value (EU), Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

Exports (£m) Imports (£m)
Oil (see section 'trade in oil') -21 -204
Cars +115 +274
Consumer goods other than cars +6 +131
Intermediate goods +65 +421
Capital goods -29 -272
Chemicals -583 +305
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals +223 +20
Fuels other than oil +611

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Figure 5: Balance of Trade in Goods - EU Countries

Figure 5: Balance of Trade in Goods - EU Countries

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Trade in Goods - Non-EU Analysis

In March 2013, the deficit on trade in goods with non-EU countries decreased by £0.7 billion to £3.5 billion.

Exports to non-EU countries increased by £1.2 billion (10.0%) to £13.1 billion and imports from non-EU countries increased by £0.5 billion (2.8%) to £16.6 billion. At the commodity level:

Table 6: Change in Key Commodity Value (Non-EU), March 2013 Compared with February 2013

Exports (£m) Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on 'trade in oil') -76 +202
Cars +43 +20
Consumer goods other than cars +122 +59
Intermediate goods +223 -6
Capital goods +127 +39
Chemicals +330 -88
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals +107 +62
Aircraft +257

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In quarter 1 2013, the deficit on trade in goods with non-EU countries decreased by £2.1 billion to £11.1 billion, compared with quarter 4 2012.

Exports to non-EU countries increased by £0.9 billion (2.5%) to £37.5 billion and imports from non-EU countries decreased by £1.2 billion (2.4%) to £48.6 billion. At the commodity level:

Table 7: Change in Key Commodity Value (Non-EU), Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

Exports (£m) Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on 'trade in oil') +749 -1484
Cars +816 +4
Consumer goods other than cars -487 +389
Intermediate goods +99 +35
Capital goods -43 +197
Chemicals +253 -297
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals -485 -232

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Figure 6: Balance of Trade in Goods - Non-EU Countries

Figure 6: Balance of Trade in Goods - Non-EU Countries

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Trade in Goods - One Month Geographical Analysis

March 2013 Compared with February 2013

Within EU countries, exports to Belgium & Luxembourg decreased by £0.3 billion. Among non-EU countries, exports to the USA increased by £0.7 billion and exports to India increased by £0.1 billion.

Within EU countries, imports from Belgium & Luxembourg increased by £0.4 billion and imports from Germany increased by £0.1 billion. Among non-EU countries, imports from Israel decreased by £0.2 billion and imports from Russia decreased by £0.1 billion.

Table 8: Change in Monthly Trade with Significant Partner Countries, March 2013 Compared with February 2013

    Exports (£m)       Imports (£m)
    March 2013 1-month     March 2013 1-month
    Value Change     Value Change
1 USA           3782 +681 1 Germany 4634 +126
2 Germany 2708 +74 2 Netherlands 3007 +38
3 Netherlands 2007 +77 3 China 2773 +16
4 France 1709 -45 4 USA 2448 +71
5 Irish Republic 1587 +60 5 Belgium/Luxembourg 1993 +377
6 Belgium/Luxembourg 1088 -253 6 France 1978 +20
7 China 1040 +46 7 Norway 1491 +5
8 Italy 723 +8 8 Italy 1147 -6
9 Spain 714 +6 9 Spain 1018 +61
10 Sweden 476 +94 10 Irish Republic 992 +57
1 Significant trading partners defined as top 10 export markets & import sources 2012 (see attached table 14).  

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Figure 7: Significant Partner Countries, 1 Month Balances, March 2013

Figure 7: Significant Partner Countries, 1 Month Balances, March 2013

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Trade in goods - Quarterly Geographical Analysis

Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

Within EU countries, exports to Germany decreased by £0.3 billion. Among non-EU countries, exports to the USA increased by £0.8 billion and exports to China increased by £0.3 billion. Exports to Switzerland decreased by £0.8 billion.

Within EU countries, imports from both Belgium & Luxembourg and Germany increased by £0.4 billion. Among non-EU countries, imports from China increased by £0.6 billion. Imports from Switzerland decreased by £1.5 billion and imports from Norway and Russia decreased by £0.5 billion.

Table 9: Change in Quarterly Trade with Significant Partner Countries, Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

Exports (£m) Imports (£m)
Qtr 1 2013 Qtrly Change Qtr 1 2013 Qtrly Change
Value Value
1 USA 10414 818 1 Germany 13612 +423
2 Germany 7991 -335 2 Netherlands 8648 +270
3 Netherlands 5751 -291 3 China 8096 +624
4 France 5123 -170 4 USA 7239 -276
5 Irish Republic 4637 +285 5 France 5819 +190
6 Belgium/Luxembourg 3631 +117 6 Belgium/Luxembourg 5196 +394
7 China 2989 +302 7 Norway 4496 -458
8 Italy 2164 +138 8 Italy 3472 -54
9 Spain 2097 -58 9 Spain 2957 -6
10 Sweden 1355 -102 10 Irish Republic 2839 -48
1 Significant trading partners defined as top 10 export markets & import sources 2012 (see attached table 14).

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Figure 8: Significant Partner Countries, Quarterly Balances, Quarter 1 2013

Figure 8: Significant Partner Countries, Quarterly Balances, Quarter 1 2013

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Volume of Total Trade in Goods, Excluding Oil and Erratics

Between February and March 2013, the volume of exports increased by 4.5% and the volume of imports increased by 2.0%. At the commodity level:

Table 10: Change in Key Commodity Volume, March 2013 Compared with February 2013

Exports Imports
% change % change
Food, beverages and tobacco 2.6 0.0
Basic materials 1.8 6.5
Semi-manufactured goods; of which 8.7 -2.6
Chemicals 6.9 -1.7
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals 9.8 -4.3
Finished manufactured goods; of which 2.3 3.4
Cars -4.0 8.1
Consumer goods other than cars 5.1 4.5
Intermediate goods 4.2 0.0
Capital goods 2.5 2.6

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In quarter 1 2013, the volume of exports decreased by 1.5% and the volume of imports increased by 0.3%, compared with quarter 4 2012. At the commodity level:

Table 11: Change in Key Commodity Volume, Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

Exports Imports
% change % change
Food, beverages and tobacco -0.9 -0.6
Basic materials 3.8 4.2
Semi-manufactured goods; of which -4.7 -2.6
Chemicals -4 .0 -0.3
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals -6.2 -6.1
Finished manufactured goods; of which -0.3 1.1
Cars 9.7 4.7
Consumer goods other than cars -9.5 3.0
Intermediate goods 0.3 0.8
Capital goods 1.2 -2.2

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Figure 9: Volume of Exports of Goods (Finished Manufactures), Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2013

Figure 9: Volume of Exports of Goods (Finished Manufactures), Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2013

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Figure 10: Volume of Imports of Goods (Finished Manufactures), Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

Figure 10: Volume of Imports of Goods (Finished Manufactures), Quarter 1 2013 Compared with Quarter 4 2012

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Export and Import Prices for Trade in Goods (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In March, both export and import prices increased by 0.2%, compared with February. Excluding the oil price effect, export prices increased by 0.8% and import prices increased by 0.7%.

In quarter 1 2013, export prices increased by 3.1% and import prices increased by 2.8%. Excluding the oil price effect, export prices increased by 2.6% and import prices increased by 2.3%.

Trade in Oil

In March, the balance on trade in oil was in deficit by £1.1 billion, compared with a deficit of £0.7 billion in February. Oil exports decreased by less than £0.1 billion to £3.0 billion and oil imports increased by £0.4 billion to £4.2 billion.

In quarter 1 2013, the balance on trade in oil was in deficit by £2.2 billion, compared with a deficit of £4.6 billion in the previous quarter. Oil exports increased by £0.7 billion to £9.5 billion and oil imports decreased by £1.7 billion to £11.8 billion.

Figure 11: Balance of Trade in Oil

Figure 11: Balance of Trade in Oil

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Trade in Services

In March 2013, the UK's estimated surplus on trade in services was £5.9 billion.

Exports in March 2013 were estimated to have been £15.6 billion and imports £9.7 billion.

In quarter 1 2013, the estimated surplus on trade in services was £17.4 billion.

Total exports were £46.3 billion and total imports were £28.9 billion.

Figure 12: Value of UK Trade in Services

Figure 12: Value of UK Trade in Services

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Records Sheet

The UK Trade record information (40.5 Kb Excel sheet) for March 2013 can be accessed at the ONS Website.

Background notes

  1. What's New?

    Oil

    HMRC have told us that they will be revising oil export figures, almost wholly relating to the months of 2012. Details were not available to be included in this bulletin but will be included in HMRC’s next publication of the EU Overseas Trade Statistics on 14 May.

    This revision will be taken into next month’s publication of the UK Trade figures, to be published on 7 June.

    Revisions

    This release conforms to the standard revisions policy for National Accounts. In this release, periods from January 2013 are open for revision.

    Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics (MRETS) Consultation

    The MRETS consultation (107.5 Kb Word document) is now complete. The only respondent to the consultation supported the decision to discontinue the MRETS publication on the basis that the data contained within MRETS will be available as part of the monthly UK Trade release. In light of this response, the decision was made to discontinue the MRETS publication as of the December 2012 release.

    Those series previously exclusive to MRETS (including the geographical breakdown published in tables G1 and G2) are now incorporated in the monthly UK Trade statistical bulletin and the associated online time series. 

  2. Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) Fraud

    Users should also be aware that for some data prior to April 2012, the monthly data does not sum precisely to the quarters for the MTIC series due to rounding.

  3. UK Trade 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.

  4. Special Events

    An article outlining the ONS policy on special events is available.

  5. 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. © Crown copyright 2013.

  6. Short Guide to UK Trade

    Ever since statistics on exports and imports of goods were first collected in 1697 UK trade has been one of the country’s key economic indicators.

    All information included in the monthly UK Trade Statistical Bulletin is on a Balance of Payments (BoP) basis and is seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. The release contains tables showing the total value of trade in goods together with index numbers of volume and price, figures analysed by broad commodity group (values and indices) and according to geographical area (values only). In addition the Trade statistical bulletin also includes early monthly estimates of the value of trade in services.

    Data appearing in the UK Trade statistical bulletin are also used as a direct input into the quarterly Balance of Payments and National Accounts.

    Interpreting the data

    Monthly commodity movements for Food, beverages and tobacco, Basic materials, Fuels other than oil, and Erratics (Ships, Aircraft, Precious stones, and Silver) are only detailed in this Statistical Bulletin where they are equal to or exceed £200 million (£400 million for three monthly comparisons).

    Monthly country movements are only detailed in this Statistical Bulletin where they are equal to or exceed £0.1 billion (£0.3 billion for three monthly comparisons).
    In months where quarterly and three monthly ending percentage changes for index data coincide there may be small differences between the data for methodological reasons. Quarterly data are the indexed form of an underlying constant price (for volume indices) or consistent quantity (for price indices) series. Three month ending data are the average of the index data in that period.

    VAT Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) fraud  

    Import figures for trade in goods include adjustments to allow for the impact of VAT MTIC fraud.

    The adjustments to trade in goods relate only to part of the carousel version of VAT MTIC fraud. This fraud leads to under recording of imports as fraudsters import goods from the EU, which they then sell on before disappearing without paying VAT on that sale. The goods are eventually exported. Such exports are declared and are therefore already reflected in the UK’s trade in goods statistics.

    Changes to the pattern of trading associated with MTIC fraud can make it difficult to analyse trade by commodity group and by country as changes in the impact of activity associated with this fraud affect both imports and exports. However, the MTIC trade adjustments are added to the EU import estimates derived from Intrastat returns as it is this part of the trading chain that is not generally recorded. In particular, adjustments affect trade in capital goods and intermediate goods - these categories include mobile phones and computer components, which are still the most widely affected goods.

    International convention determines that the treatment of the impact is to adjust imports upwards by the relevant amounts of missing declarations (non-response). However, users may wish to interpret short term movements in imports excluding that part of the fraudulent activity that is not included in the import estimates, and for this purpose an analysis of the import figures with the VAT MTIC adjustments excluded is shown in Table 13.

    Definitions and explanations 
     
    A glossary of terms is published in the UK Balance of Payments Pink Book 2012.

    Use of the data

    UK Trade is a key economic indicator due to the importance of international trade to the UK economy. It is also a very timely statistic, providing an early indicator of what is happening more generally in the economy.

    In addition, it is a major component of two other key economic statistics – UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the UK Balance of Payments. This means that there is a threefold potential for UK Trade statistics to inform the Government’s view of the UK economy, as well as the views of others, such as economists, City analysts, academics, the media, and international organisations.

    Notes on tables

    Rounding:
    The sum of constituent items in tables do not always agree exactly with the totals shown due to rounding.

    Symbols:
    ..    Not applicable
    -     Nil or less than half the final digit shown.

  7. Methods

    Composition of the data

    Detailed methodological notes are published in the UK Balance of Payments (Pink Book) .

    Seasonal adjustment

    Seasonal adjustment aims to remove effects associated with the time of the year or the arrangement of the calendar so that movements within a time series may be more easily interpreted.

    Deflation

    It is common for the value of a group of financial transactions to be measured in several time periods. The values measured will include both the change in the volume sold and the effect of the change of prices over that year. Deflation is the process whereby the effect of price change is removed from a set of values.

    Chain-linked indices (chained volume measures) which are indexed to form the volume series in this bulletin differ from fixed base indices in that the growth from one year to the next is estimated by weighting the components using the contribution to value of trade in the immediately preceding year (effectively re-basing every year). This series of annually re-weighted annual growths is then ‘chain-linked’ to produce a continuous series.

    The implied price deflators derived by comparing current price data to chained volume measures data are not the same as the price indices published in this statistical bulletin because the former are current weighted while the latter are base (2009) weighted.

    Changes in trade associated with VAT MTIC fraud mean that comparisons of volume and prices (both including and excluding trade associated with VAT MTIC fraud) should be treated with a great deal of caution.  
      
    A paper (384.4 Kb Pdf) , Statistics on Trade in Goods (GSS Methodological Series No. 36) describing the adjustments that need to be applied to conform to IMF definitions for Balance of Payments and the division of responsibility between ONS and HMRC is available on the ONS website.

    The Overseas Trade Statistics (OTS) data used as inputs to this statistical bulletin are collected and published by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on an International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) basis.

  8. Quality

    Basic quality information

    Accuracy: Trade in goods figures for the most recent months are provisional and subject to revision in the light of (a) late trader data, revisions to trade prices and revised estimates of trading associated with VAT MTIC fraud, and (b) revisions to seasonal adjustment factors which are re-estimated every month.

    Trade in services estimates have been derived from a number of monthly and quarterly sources. For components where no monthly data are available, estimates have been derived on the basis of recent trends. The results should be used with appropriate caution, as they are therefore likely to be less reliable than those for trade in goods. More details of the data sources, estimation methodology and reliability of the monthly estimates of trade in services were set out in Economic Trends (January 1996 and September 1997).

    Reliability: Revisions to data provide one indication of the reliability of key indicators. The table below shows summary information on the size and direction of the revisions which have been made to the data covering a five year period. A statistical test has been applied to the average revision to find out if it is statistically significantly different from zero. An asterisk (*) shows that the test is significant. An article explaining the past revisions performance for UK Trade statistics and what is being done to improve the first published estimates was published on 9 May 2005 on the ONS website.

    Table 12: Revisions Analysis, UK Trade, March 2013

    £million
    Revisions between first publication and estimates twelve months later
    Value in latest period Average over the last 5 years (mean revision) Average over the last 5 years without regard to sign (average absolute revision)
    Total trade exports (IKBH) 41316 799 1 040
    Total trade imports (IKBI) 44446 314 647
    Total trade balance (IKBJ) -3130 493 641

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    The table covers estimates of UK trade first published from May 2008 (for March 2008) to April 2012 (for February 2012). Revisions spreadsheets giving these estimates and the calculations behind the averages in the table is available on the ONS website.  
     
    An article (2.33 Mb Pdf) analysing past revisions to quarterly balance of payments current account data was published in the May 2007 edition of Economic & Labour Market Review. It is available on the ONS website.

    More information about revisions material in this Statistical Bulletin can be found on the ONS website.

  9. Coherence

    EU enlargement and country coverage: Two more countries joined the EU from 1 January 2007. These countries were Bulgaria and Romania. In addition, the coverage of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) countries was extended to include Slovenia. In order to enable users to make long-run comparisons, data for the new definition EU and non-EU was produced from January 1998 onwards for value, and from January 1999 onwards for volume and price indices. At the same time data for the old definitions were no longer maintained. There are additional series for country groupings on the old definitions.

    The coverage of EMU countries was extended to cover Cyprus and Malta from July 2008, Slovakia from January 2009, and Estonia from January 2011. Some EU and non-EU breakdowns of commodity data for Chained Volume Measures which are available from the Statbase® service may be less reliable than the current price data. Please consult Stephen Curtis on 01633 456626 if you are considering using them.
    Data have been combined for the United States and Puerto Rico, and for Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah (the United Arab Emirates) from January 2009 onwards. Estimates are separately available for the United States and Dubai up until the end of 2008 on request.

  10. Summary quality report

    A Summary Quality Report (91.3 Kb Pdf) for this Statistical Bulletin and associated data can be found on the ONS website.

  11. National Accounts revisions policy

    National Accounts revision policy (27.8 Kb Pdf) can be found on the ONS website.

  12. Revisions

    Revisions Table 17R shows revisions to the main aggregates since the last Trade Statistical Bulletin of 9 April 2013. The revisions to trade in goods from January 2013 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.

  13. Publication policy

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.

  14. Accessing data

    Supplementary quarterly data analysed by industry according to the Classification of Product by Activity 08 (UK Trade in Goods Analysed in Terms of Industries ) are also available.

    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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  18. Next publication:  7 June 2013

    Issued by: Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG

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  19. 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: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

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Stephen Curtis +44 (0)1633 456626 UK Trade / Trade and Transfers trade.in.goods@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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