Weak first quarter for UK Exports
The latest Trade ONS data has been released and you can see an overview of the results below plus a comment from the British Chambers of Commerce Head of Trade Policy.

We are holding a networking lunch event in Cambridge on 29 June with guest speaker Sophia Awan, member of the International Trade sector and Strategic Partnerships Manager at Moneycorp. Further details of the event, and forthcoming training courses and latest trade updates, can be found below.

Also, please note that there will be no service for ATA Carnets on Tuesday 6 June. Any Carnet applications will need to be submitted before that date as the team will not be able to action anything on that day.

If you have any international trade queries please email internationaltrade@cambscci.co.uk or telephone the team on 01223 237414.

Karen Cash
International Trade Team Leader
01223 237414
Weak first quarter for UK Exports

Figures for March revealed a further drop in both goods imports and exports, concluding a weak start to the year. Across the quarter, UK goods exports values declined by 3.2 per cent, and goods imports by 7.5 per cent. Services exports values fell by two per cent across the quarter. Taking goods and services trade overall, there was a fall in UK exports values of 2.6 per cent between January and March 2023, and in imports of 6.8 per cent. 

March data

After taking inflation into account, goods imports values fell by 2.1 per cent in March and goods exports by 2.7 per cent. Although imports of goods with the EU remained static, there was a decline in goods imports trade with the rest of the world in March of 4.7 per cent - driven by lower fuel and oil imports, and across cars, transport, machinery and other manufactured goods. Good exports to the rest of the world fell by 3.6 per cent and to the EU by 1.7 per cent. In services, UK exports increased by 0.8 per cent in March, and imports by 0.3 per cent.

Trade Deficit

Reduced imports across the quarter led to a fall in the overall UK goods and services trade deficit from £15.1bn to £10.2bn in Q1 2023. 

Reacting to the latest ONS Trade data, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: “The picture for global trade in the first quarter of 2023 is creating serious challenges for UK exporters, with a drop off in services as well as goods. While a pick-up in global demand is likely to develop in the second half of the year, we need action now to address both the cyclical and structural factors holding back UK export growth.

“Labour market concerns appeared to act as a brake on any further services growth during March. Removing inflationary effects, UK services exports, which make up the bulk of our overseas sales, are still 0.9% below their pre-pandemic levels. The Government needs to do more to remove non-tariff trade barriers that are frustrating firms and make a big push to improve take up of free trade agreements.”
Webinar: Doing business with the Netherlands - all you need to know
Wednesday 7 June, 2.00-3.30pm

You will learn about:

  • Why the Netherlands is a great place for trade and investment
  • The economic climate both currently and looking ahead
  • What the Netherlands has to offer around infrastructure, human resources, sustainability etc
  • The opportunities in different regions in the Netherlands
  • How the NBCC can help and support you.
Register here.
Cambridge Networking Lunch
Thursday 29 June, 12.00-2.00pm
Novotel Cambridge North

Join us in Cambridge for a networking lunch that we expect to be very popular!

Make new connections in a room full of decision makers, enjoy an impressive buffet lunch and hear a talk from our guest speaker Sophia Awan, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Moneycorp.

Further details and booking here.
Understanding Commodity Codes
Thursday 1 June, 9.30am-1.00pm

By attending this course we will ensure you:

  • Are aware of what a commodity code is and what it is used for
  • Understand the process of how to classify goods
  • Successfully classify a range of goods
  • Understand the importance of getting your commodity codes correct.
Register here.
Letters of Credit
Wednesday 7 June, 9.30am-1.00pm

This workshop covers the five main types of payment for exports, from advance payment to open account, including Sight Documentary Collection, Term Documentary Collection and Documentary Letters of Credit. It includes the use of Bills of Exchange with and without documents.

Register here.
You can view the full list of all our courses on the Chamber website.

Courses can also be tailored to meet your company’s specific requirements. For more information about a bespoke course for your company, which can be delivered remotely or in person, please contact the Chamber on 01223 237414.
Trade negotiations with Switzerland to upgrade the current goods trade-only deal with the UK were launched in Bern last week. Read the BCC’s reaction  to the launch, also covered in The Guardian

Last week, UK government officials briefed the BCC on the progress of trade negotiations with India.

Also last week, the European Commission this week announced major reforms of its customs processes to simplify rules for EU SMEs.
Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •  chamber@cambscci.co.uk
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House, 2 Station Yard, Oakington, Cambridge, CB24 3AH