Export sales of the century: East Midlands exports hit high

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Despite an uncertain economic outlook East Midlands firms have risen to the challenge and taken exports to the highest number since 2007.

Latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs today show that exports from the East Midlands for the nine months ending September 2011, have hit £13 billion - the highest level of exports for the equivalent periods for at least four years.  If the trend continues, exports could exceed £17 billion by the end of December 2011, equalling the highest level this century.

The figures over the last 12 months show an increase of over 14% (£2.4 billion).  And imports have shown an increase of 12.7% (£2 billion) for the same period.  This left the region with a trade deficit of £574 million over the year.

The third quarter of the year saw exports reach almost £4.4 billion, which brings the total for the year so far up to £13 billion. The previous quarter’s export figures were £4.15 billion.

Peter Hogarth, Regional Director for UK Trade & Investment East Midlands, said: "This is the highest rate of exports since the economic downturn. We are still on track to hit over £17 billion as firms across the East Midlands embrace the opportunities available overseas.  This positive attitude to exporting is exactly what is going to help the region to grow.”

The news comes as Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable and Foreign Secretary William Hague, have launched a UK Trade & Investment campaign to encourage more British companies to export to Asia’s high growth and emerging markets.

In the East Midlands, exports to Asia and Oceania – principally China and India – reached £940 million for the last quarter alone, this is more than 19% higher than the same period last year. Sales to Europe only increased by 6% in the same period, clearly demonstrating the attraction of Asian markets.

By 2030 spending by Asian consumers is expected to be around $32 trillion annually or about 43% of worldwide consumption.

Peter added: “These are growing economies with ever increasing numbers of businesses and consumers who want and can afford British quality design and products, are brand conscious and interested in trying new things.

“The EU remains the most important market for the East Midlands with a 12-month export value of £8.35 billion, with Germany, Belgium, the Irish republic and France all among the leading export destinations.  North America has also shown gains with annual sales of £2.83 billion.

“East Midlands companies need to continue to rise to the challenge and ‘Sell British’, particularly small and medium sized firms, and to help them do this UKTI have announced a new export competition.

The winner of the Export for Growth winner will receive UKTI support worth £5000 and three grants for overseas travel to their target markets, plus expert business knowledge and insight from sponsor companies HSBC Bank Plc and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

To find out more about the Export for Growth Prize and download an entry form, visit www.ukti.gov.uk/exportingforgrowthprize

To find out about events taking place across the East Midlands and the full range of support available through UK Trade & Investment call the East Midlands International Trade Hotline on 0845 052 4001.


Northamptonshire Chamber

Posted : 12th December 2011