The deficit in trade in goods with EU countries widened by £0.7 billion to £4.5 billion in March, compared with the deficit of £3.7 billion in February, as exports were virtually unchanged at £13.2 billion (up by 0.1 per cent), and imports rose by £0.8 billion (4.4 per cent) to £17.6 billion.
The deficit on trade in goods with non-EU countries narrowed by £0.8 billion to £4.1 billion in March, compared with the deficit of £4.9 billion in February, as exports rose by £1.4 billion (12.1 per cent) to £13.2 billion, and imports rose by £0.7 billion (4.0 per cent) to £17.3 billion. Exports of goods to non- EU countries and imports of goods from non-EU countries were at record levels in March.
The increase in total exports of goods was driven by higher exports of chemicals (up £0.2 billion) to non-EU countries (particularly pharmaceuticals), including the US and China, and also to EU countries, specifically Germany; cars (up £0.2 billion), particularly to non-EU countries including the US and Russia, and also to EU countries including Germany; capital goods (up £0.2 billion), particularly to non-EU countries, and ships (up £0.2 billion) to non-EU countries.
The increase in total imports of goods was driven by higher imports of oil (up £0.7 billion), from EU countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium, and non-EU countries including Norway, Russia, Algeria and Libya; chemicals (up £0.2 billion), from non-EU countries including the US, Canada and Israel and EU countries including Germany; food, drink & tobacco (up £0.2 billion), particularly from EU countries including the Netherlands, Germany, France and Poland; and cars (up £0.2 billion) from EU countries, particularly Germany and Belgium. This was offset by lower imports of consumer goods other than cars (down £0.2 billion), particularly from non-EU countries.