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Statistical bulletin: UK Trade, August 2011 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 13 October 2011 Download PDF

UK Trade, August 2011

  • The UK’s deficit on seasonally adjusted trade in goods and services fell to £1.9 billion in August.
  • The deficit on seasonally adjusted trade in goods fell to £7.8 billion in August.
  • The surplus on seasonally adjusted trade in services increased to £5.9 billion in August.
  • The volume of seasonally adjusted exports was 1.3 per cent higher and imports was 0.3 per cent higher than July.
  • Export prices of goods fell by 1.5 per cent and import prices fell by 0.5 per cent, compared with July.

UK Trade in Goods Summary for August 2011

Balance of UK trade in goods and services, August 2011

£ billion
  Balance of trade in goods Balance of trade in services Total trade balance
EU Non-EU World
2010 Aug -4.2 -4.1 -8.2 +4.6 -3.6
2011 Jun -3.2 -5.5 -8.7 +6.1 -2.6
Jul -3.5 -4.7 -8.2 +5.9 -2.3
          Aug -2.9 -4.9 -7.8 +5.9 -1.9

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Balance of UK trade, August 2011

Chart showing Balance of UK trade, August 2011

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Balance of UK trade in goods, August 2011

Chart showing Balance of UK trade in goods, August 2011

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Supplementary Analysis Page

Correction

Correction Notice: Table 13  - 'Trade in Goods excluding adjustments to trade associated with MTIC fraud' was published incorrectly in the August 2011 UK Trade Statistical Bulletin.  The original data were based on total export and import data prior to the release of revisions to bring trade data in line with the GDP figures published on 5 October 2011.  The table and associated data have now been recalculated based on the GDP-consistent data.

Summary

The UK’s deficit on seasonally adjusted trade in goods and services was £1.9 billion in August, compared with a deficit of £2.3 billion in July. The deficit on trade in goods was £7.8 billion, compared with a deficit of £8.2 billion in July.  The surplus on trade in services was estimated at £5.9 billion, unchanged compared with July.  The volume of seasonally adjusted exports of goods was 1.3 per cent higher, and the volume of imports was 0.3 per cent higher than in July.  Export prices of goods fell by 1.5 per cent and import prices fell by 0.5 per cent compared with July.

Drivers

Total exports of goods rose by £ 0.2 billion (0.6 per cent) to £25.5 billion, and total imports of goods fell by £0.2 billion (0.7 per cent) to £33.3 billion.  The rise in exports of goods was driven by exports of fuels (up £0.2 billion), followed by exports of intermediate goods (up £0.2 billion) and exports of food, drink and tobacco (up £0.2 billion), offset by exports of cars (down £0.3 billion).  The fall in imports of goods was driven by imports of oil (down £0.3 billion), followed by imports of chemicals (down £0.2 billion) and imports of capital goods (down £0.2 billion), offset by imports of aircraft (up £0.2 billion) and imports of intermediate goods (up £0.1 billion). 

Exports

The rise in exports of fuels (other than crude oil) was to non-EU countries (exports of fuels to EU countries declined).  The increase in exports of intermediate goods was to EU countries, and included mechanical engineering goods and miscellaneous manufactures.  The increase in exports of food, drink & tobacco was to EU countries, including the Netherlands and Ireland.  The decline in exports of cars included lower exports of cars to the US and China.

Imports

The fall in imports of oil was largely from non-EU countries (down £0.2 billion), including Norway and Russia (imports of oil from EU countries fell by less than £0.1 billion).  The decline in imports of chemicals was from EU and non-EU countries (each down around £0.1 billion), including China and Switzerland.  The fall in imports of capital goods was from EU countries, and the increase in imports of intermediate goods was from EU countries.

Expected revisions to August data

Late revisions resulting from incorrect data declarations to source data from HMRC mean that detailed level time series commodity data for August, lower level EU geographical data for August, and data on oil for July, are likely to be subject to larger revisions than usual in the UK Trade Statistical Bulletin due to be published on 9th November.

Consistency with Quarterly National Accounts and the 2011 Blue Book

The data published in this Statistical Bulletin are consistent with the Quarterly National Accounts (2nd Quarter 2011) published on 5th October 2011 and with the 2011 Blue Book, including methods changes such as improved deflation methods.  As previously announced, the revision period for this publication is back to January 1998, in line with the open revisions period for the 2011 Blue Book.  For further details, please see the Background Notes.

Notes for Supplementary Analysis Page

  1. Care should be taken when using the month-on-month growth rates due to their volatility.

Value of UK trade in goods (seasonally adjusted)

In August, the UK’s deficit on trade in goods narrowed by £0.4 billion to £7.8 billion, compared with the deficit of £8.2 billion in July.

Total exports rose by £0.2 billion (0.6 per cent) to £25.5 billion but total imports fell by £0.2 billion (0.7 per cent) to £33.3 billion. At the commodity level:

Change in key commodity value, August 2011 compared with July 2011

  Exports (£m)   Imports (£m)
Oil (see trade in oil section) +80 -252
Cars -270 +39
Consumer goods other than cars -39 -121
Intermediate goods +199 +109
Capital goods +39 -186
Chemicals +27 -197
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals  -57 -2
Aircraft (see background notes - Interpreting the data) : +209

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In the three months ended August, the deficit on trade in goods widened by £1.0 billion to £24.6 billion, compared with the deficit of £23.6 billion in the three months ending May 2011.

Total exports rose by £0.2 billion (0.3 per cent) to £74.7 billion and total imports rose by £1.2 billion (1.3 per cent) to £99.4 billion. At the commodity level:

Change in key commodity value, June - August 2011 compared with March - May 2011

  Exports (£m)   Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on trade in oil) -1,571 -589
Cars -234 -796
Consumer goods other than cars +324 +542
Intermediate goods +196 +461
Capital goods +356 +303
Chemicals +7 +360
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals  +108 +562
Precious stones (see background notes section 'Interpreting the data') +497 :

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Value of UK trade in goods, August 2011

Chart showing Value of UK trade in goods, August 2011

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Value of UK trade in goods excluding oil, August 2011

Chart showing Value of UK trade in goods excluding oil, August 2011

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Trade in goods - EU analysis (seasonally adjusted)

In August, the deficit on trade in goods with EU countries narrowed by £0.6 billion to £2.9 billion, compared with the deficit of £3.5 billion in July.

EU exports rose by £0.4 billion (2.8 per cent) to £14.0 billion but EU imports fell by £0.2 billion (1.3 per cent) to £16.9 billion. At the commodity level:

Change in key commodity value (EU), August 2011 compared with July 2011

  Exports (£m)   Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on trade in oil) -183 -85
Cars +24 +11
Consumer goods other than cars -11 +10
Intermediate goods +178 +98
Capital goods +80 -174
Chemicals -7 -111
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals  -40 -97

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In the three months ended August, the deficit on trade in goods with EU countries rose by £0.4 billion to £9.6 billion, compared with the deficit of £9.2 billion in the three months ending May 2011.

EU exports fell by less than £0.1 billion and remained virtually unchanged (-0.1 per cent) at £40.7 billion and EU imports rose by £0.4 billion (0.7 per cent) to £50.3 billion. At the commodity level:

Change in key commodity value (EU), June - August 2011 compared with March - May 2011

  Exports (£m)   Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on trade in oil) -741 -239
Cars -23 -761
Consumer goods other than cars +76 +110
Intermediate goods -137 +538
Capital goods +190 -13
Chemicals +182 +424
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals  -88 0

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Balance of trade in goods - EU countries, August 2011

Chart showing Balance of trade in goods - EU countries, August 2011

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Trade in goods - non-EU analysis (seasonally adjusted)

In August, the deficit on trade in goods with non-EU countries increased by £0.2 billion to £4.9 billion, compared with the deficit of £4.7 billion in July.

Non-EU exports fell by £0.2 billion (1.9 per cent) to £11.5 billion but non-EU imports remained virtually unchanged (-0.1 per cent) at £16.4 billion. At the commodity level:

Change in key commodity value (non-EU), August 2011 compared with July 2011

  Exports (£m)   Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on trade in oil) +263 -167
Cars -294 +28
Consumer goods other than cars -28 -131
Intermediate goods +21 +11
Capital goods -41 -12
Chemicals +34 -86
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals  -17 +95

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In the three months ended August, the deficit on trade in goods with non-EU countries widened by £0.6 billion to £15.0 billion, compared with the deficit of £14.4 billion in the three months ending May 2011.

Non-EU exports rose by £0.3 billion (0.7 per cent) to £34.1 billion and non-EU imports rose by £0.9 billion (1.8 per cent) to £49.1 billion. At the commodity level:

Change in key commodity value (non-EU), June - August 2011 compared with March - May 2011

  Exports (£m)   Imports (£m)
Oil (see section on trade in oil) -830 -350
Cars -211 -35
Consumer goods other than cars +248 +432
Intermediate goods +333 -77
Capital goods +166 +317
Chemicals -175 -64
Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals  +196 +562

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Balance of trade in goods - non-EU countries, August 2011

Chart showing Balance of trade in goods - non-EU countries, August 2011

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Trade in goods - one month geographical analysis (seasonally adjusted)

August 2011 compared with July 2011

Within the EU countries exports to the Irish Republic rose by £0.2 billion. Exports to the Netherlands fell by £0.4 billion and exports to Italy and Germany both fell by £ 0.2 billion.  Among Non-EU countries, there were no export movements in excess of £0.2 billion. (See background notes, ‘Interpreting the Data’).

Within the EU countries, imports from Belgium and Luxembourg rose by £0.4 billion but imports from Germany and the Netherlands both fell by £0.3 billion. (See background notes, ‘Interpreting the Data’). Among Non-EU countries, imports from the USA rose by £0.3 billion.

Change in monthly trade with significant partner countries, August 2011 compared with July 2011

  Exports (£m)     Imports (£m)
Aug 2011 Value 1 month Change Aug 2011 Value 1 month Change
1 USA 3,240 +42 1 Germany 3,908 -280
2 Germany 2,360 -222 2 China 2,673 +102
3 Netherlands 1,878 -360 3 USA 2,489 +259
4 France 1,856 -22 4 Belgium/Luxembourg 2,076 +372
5 Irish Republic 1,804 +213 5 Netherlands 2,064 -268
6 Belgium-Luxembourg 1,342 -34 6 Norway 1,956 +81
7 China 762 -56 7 France 1,853 -70
8 Spain 757 -16 8 Italy 1,174 +42
9 Italy 727 -205 9 Irish Republic 1,028 -153
10 Sweden 370 -165 10 Spain 948 -90

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Significant trading partners defined as top 10 export markets & import sources 2010 (see Monthly Review of External Trade table G1).

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Significant partner country 1 month balances, August 2011

Chart showing Significant partner country 1 month balances, August 2011

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Trade in goods - three monthly geographical analysis (seasonally adjusted)

Three months ended August 2011 compared with the three months ended May 2011

Within the EU countries, exports to the Irish Republic rose by £0.5 billion. Exports to Germany fell by £0.6 billion and exports to France fell by £0.4 billion.  Among Non-EU countries, exports to the USA fell by £0.6 billion.

Within the EU countries, imports from Germany fell by £0.5 billion. Among Non-EU countries, imports from Switzerland rose by £0.5 billion but imports from Norway fell by £0.5 billion.

Change in 3 monthly trade with significant partner countries, June - August 2011 compared with March - May 2011

  Exports (£m)     Imports (£m)
Jun - Aug Value 3 month Change   Jun - Aug Value 3 month Change
1 USA 9,390 -614 1 Germany 11,977 -479
2 Germany 7,526 -569 2 China 7,786 +394
3 Netherlands 6,053 +270 3 USA 7,039 -287
4 France 5,430 -414 4 Netherlands 6,677 -243
5 Irish Republic 4,962 +507 5 Norway 5,880 -520
6 Belgium-Luxembourg 4,101 -34 6 France 5,681 +95
7 Italy 2,503 -106 7 Belgium/Luxembourg 5,447 +143
8 Spain 2,329 -151 8 Italy 3,482 -13
9 China 2,293 +247 9 Irish Republic 3,228 +187
10 Sweden 1,418 -217 10 Spain 2,948 +198

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Significant trading partners defined as top 10 export markets & import sources 2010 (see Monthly Review of External Trade table G1).  

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Significant partner country 3 month balances, August 2011

Chart showing Significant partner country 3 month balances, August 2011

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Volume of total trade in goods, excluding oil and erratics (seasonally adjusted)

In August, the volume of exports rose by 1.3 per cent and the volume of imports rose by 0.3 per cent, compared with July. At the commodity level:

Change in key commodity volume, August 2011 compared with July 2011

  Exports % change Imports % change
Food, beverages and tobacco +7.9 +1.0
Basic materials +1.0 +6.7
Semi manufactured goods; of which 0.0 -3.8
  Chemicals +1.0 -7.0
  Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals -2.2 +1.1
Finished manufactured goods; of which 0.0 +1.0
  Cars -15.5 +3.0
  Consumer goods other than cars +4.8 -5.9
  Intermediate goods +12.0 +16.8
  Capital goods -3.0 -11.1

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In the three months ended August, the volume of exports rose by 0.6 per cent and the volume of imports rose by 0.3 per cent, compared with the three months ending May 2011. At the commodity level:

Change in commodity volume, June - August 2011 compared with March - May 2011

  Exports % change Imports % change
Food, beverages and tobacco +0.6 -2.0
Basic materials +0.3 +2.6
Semi manufactured goods; of which -1.4 0.0
  Chemicals -1.0 -1.8
  Semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals -3.7 +1.5
Finished manufactured goods; of which +1.3 +0.3
  Cars -3.3 -10.5
  Consumer goods other than cars +6.3 +1.9
  Intermediate goods +1.6 +5.0
  Capital goods +0.3 -2.1

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Volume of exports of goods (finished manufactures) % change 3 months ended August 2011 compared with 3 months ended May 2011

Chart showing Volume of exports of goods % change

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Volume of imports of goods (finished manufactures) % change 3 months ended August 2011, compared with 3 months ended May 2011

Chart showing Volume of imports of goods % change

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Export and import prices for trade in goods (not seasonally adjusted)

In August, export prices fell by 1.5 per cent and import prices fell by 0.5 per cent, compared with July. This led to a decrease in the terms of trade. Excluding the oil price effect, export prices fell by 0.7 per cent but import prices rose by 0.3 per cent.

In the three months ended August, export prices rose by 1.5 per cent and import prices rose by 1.7 per cent. This led to a decrease in the terms of trade. Excluding the oil price effect, export prices rose by 1.5 per cent and import prices rose by 2.6 per cent.  

Export and import prices (goods), August 2011

Chart showing Export and import prices (goods), August 2011

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Export and import prices (goods) - excluding oil price effect, August 2011

Chart showing Export and import prices (goods) - excluding oil price effect, August 2011

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Trade in oil (seasonally adjusted)

In August, the balance on trade in oil was in deficit by £0.5 billion, compared with a deficit of £0.9 billion in July. Oil exports rose by £0.1 billion to £3.2 billion but oil imports fell by £0.3 billion to £3.7 billion.

In the three months ended August, the balance on trade in oil was in deficit by £2.8 billion, compared with the deficit of £1.8 billion with the three months ending May 2011. Oil exports fell by £1.6 billion to £8.9 billion and oil imports fell by £0.6 billion to £11.7 billion.

Balance on trade in oil, August 2011

Chart showing Balance on trade in oil, August 2011

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Trade in services (seasonally adjusted)

In August, the UK’s estimated surplus on trade in services remained at £5.9 billion.

Exports rose by less than £0.1 billion (0.3 per cent) to £15.2 billion and imports rose by less than £0.1 billion (0.3 per cent) to £9.3 billion.

In the three months ended August, the estimated surplus on trade in services widened by £0.4 billion to £17.8 billion, compared with the surplus of £17.4 billion with the three months ending May 2011.

Total exports rose by £0.7 billion (1.6 per cent) to £46.1 billion and total imports rose by £0.3 billion (1.1 per cent) to £28.2 billion.

Value of UK trade in services, August 2011

Chart showing Value of UK trade in services, August 2011

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Records Sheet

UK trade record information for August 2011 can be accessed via the reference tables.

Background notes

  1. What’s new?

    Consistency with Quarterly National Accounts and the 2011 Blue Book

    The data published in this Statistical Bulletin are consistent with the Quarterly National Accounts (2nd Quarter 2011) published on 5th October 2011 and with the 2011 Blue Book, including methods changes such as improved deflation methods.  As previously announced, the revision period for this publication is back to January 1998, in line with the open revisions period for the 2011 Blue Book.  The revised publication dates for the 2011 Blue Book and associated publications can be found on the National Accounts publication timetable page.

    A number of articles have been produced on the 2011 Blue Book (5.31 Mb Pdf) .  

    An article on methods changes in the 2011 Blue Book (46.8 Kb Pdf) can be found on the National Accounts methodology and articles 2011-present page.

    An article on deflation improvements in the UK National Accounts (176.8 Kb Pdf) , including trade in goods and trade in services, can also be found on the National Accounts methodology and articles 2011-present page.

    Other Changes to UK Trade

    Classification changes – the move from Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) Rev 3 to SITC Rev 4 has resulted in some movement of products between consumer goods, intermediate goods and capital goods, due to changes in the definitions of these goods. 

    Other classification changes include the move from Classification of Product by Activity (CPA) 2002 to CPA 2008, and in the conversion tables between SITC and CPA (i.e. SITC Rev 4 to CPA 2008 conversion). 

    Seasonal Adjustment changes – the move from X11Arima to X12Arima for time-series analysis has resulted in changes to seasonal adjustment.  The decision to make X12Arima the Government Statistical Service (GSS) software for seasonal adjustment was recommended by a cross-GSS task force and ratified by ONS.  The change represents an upgrade which has considerable advantages in terms of improved technical quality of seasonal adjustment, consistency with international best practice, and ongoing support and development.

    Non-seasonally adjusted volumes indices will not be published this month for consistency with the revised publication dates for the 2011 Blue Book and associated publications.  The UK Trade time-series data will not contain detailed geographical (country level) data this month due to ongoing work to apportion trade which has missing country information.

    Upcoming Changes

    Late revisions resulting from incorrect data declarations to source data from HMRC mean that lower level commodity data for August, lower level EU geographical data for August, and data on oil for July, are likely to be subject to larger revisions than usual in the UK Trade Statistical Bulletin due to be published on 9th November.

  2. 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.

  3. Understanding the data

    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 BoP basis and is seasonally adjusted. 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 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 £0.2 billion (£0.4 billion for three monthly comparisons).

    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).

    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.

  4. Methods

    • 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 (2008) 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 entitled Overseas Trade Statistics Methodology describing the basis on which trade in goods statistics are compiled is available on the UK Trade Info website.

    A further paper Statistics on Trade in Goods (GSS Methodological Series No. 36) (384.4 Kb Pdf) 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.

  5. 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

    Revisions table, August 2011

    £ million
      Value in latest period Revisions between first publication and estimates twelve months later
    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) 40,769  846 1,102
    Total trade imports (IKBI) 42,646  687 1,044
    Total trade balance (IKBJ) -1,877  167  519

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    The table covers estimates of UK trade first published from May 2005 (for March 2005) to July 2010 (for May 2010). Revisions spreadsheets giving these estimates and the calculations behind the averages in the table is available on the ONS website.

    An article analysing past revisions to quarterly balance of payments current account data (340.2 Kb Pdf) was published in the May 2007 edition of Economic & Labour Market Review.

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

  6. 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 Marilyn Thomas on 01633 455708 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 till the end of 2008 on request.

  7. 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.

  8. National Accounts revisions policy

    National Accounts revision policy (41.7 Kb Pdf) can be found on the ONS website.

  9. Revisions

    Consistency with Quarterly National Accounts and the 2011 Blue Book

    The data published in this Statistical Bulletin are consistent with the Quarterly National Accounts (2nd Quarter 2011) published on 5 October 2011 and with the 2011 Blue Book, including methods changes such as improved deflation methods.  As previously announced, the revision period for this publication is back to January 1998, in line with the open revisions period for the 2011 Blue Book.  The revised publication dates for the 2011 Blue Book and associated publications can be found on the National Accounts publication timetable page.

  10. Accessing data

    Supplementary commodity data for this Statistical Bulletin (Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics); and quarterly data analysed by industry according to the Standard Industrial Classification (UK Trade in Goods Analysed in Terms of Industries) are also available free of charge as PDF files 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.

  11. Publication policy

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office. Also available is a list of the organisations given pre-publication access (52 Kb Pdf) to the contents of this bulletin.

  12. Follow ONS on Twitter and receive up to date information about our statistical releases. Like ONS on Facebook to receive our updates in your newsfeed and to post comments on our page. Watch our videos at YouTube.

  13. Copyright and reproduction

    © Crown copyright 2011

    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.

    For further information, contact the Office of Public Sector Information, Crown Copyright Licensing and Public Sector Information, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU.

    Tel: +44 (0)20 8876 3444

    Email psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

  14. Next publication: 9 November 2011

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

    Media contact:

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  15. Correction Notice

    Table 13  - 'Trade in Goods excluding adjustments to trade associated with MTIC fraud' was published incorrectly in the August 2011 UK Trade Statistical Bulletin.  The original data were based on total export and import data prior to the release of revisions to bring trade data in line with the GDP figures published on 5 October 2011.  The table and associated data have now been recalculated based on the GDP-consistent data.

  16. 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

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Marilyn Thomas +44 (0)1633 455708 Trade in goods trade.in.goods@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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