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Data on Welsh goods trade to destinations outside the UK for 2021.

The data in this report are provisional estimates for 2021 and will be revised routinely over the next 18 months to account for late returns.

The data covers the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the first 4 quarters of trade following European Union (EU) Exit. Data covers exports and imports of goods.

From 31 December 2020, the way HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) collects trade in goods data changed, resulting in a break in the time series for published UK to EU trade statistics from January 2021, therefore historic comparisons should be treated with caution (see Notes).

2021 (provisional)

Exports

  • The value of goods exports for Wales was £15.2 billion in the year ending December 2021, up £1.7 billion (12.4%) compared to the year ending December 2020 and down £2.5 billion (14.3%) compared to the year ending December 2019.
  • There was an increase in exports to EU countries of £1.1 billion (14.1%) and an increase in exports to non-EU countries of £0.6 billion (10.0%), compared with the previous year.
  • Exports to the EU accounted for 59.8% of Welsh exports compared with 49.2% for the UK.
  • Exports from Wales continued to be dominated by ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, which made up 41.8% of exports.

Imports

  • The value of goods imports for Wales was £16.1 billion in the year ending December 2021, up £1.9 billion (13.2%) compared to the year ending December 2020 and down £2.1 billion (11.4%) compared to the year ending December 2019.
  • The value of imports from EU countries was £5.9 billion, similar to the value seen the previous year. There was an increase in imports from non-EU countries of £1.9 billion (22.6%), compared with the previous year.
  • Imports from the EU accounted for 36.7% of Welsh imports compared with 47.1% for the UK.
  • Imports to Wales continue to be dominated by ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, which made up 32.5% of imports.

October to December 2021 (provisional)

Short term quarterly changes can be volatile, the provisional data are presented here given the interest in EU Exit impacts on trade since January 2021. COVID-19 restrictions along with global supply chain issues will also have had significant impacts on trade during this time.

Exports

  • Between October to December 2021, the value of goods exports in Wales was £4.4 billion.
  • In Wales, EU exports increased by 13.0% and Non EU exports increased by 3.7% compared to the previous quarter. Over the same period for the UK, EU exports increased by 13.8% and Non EU exports increased by 12.9%.
  • All four nations saw increases in exports compared to the previous quarter. Scotland saw the largest increase of 19.3%, followed by England 12.2%, Wales 9.1% and Northern Ireland 6.5%.
  • Wales saw an increase of 2.7% compared to October to December 2019. The other three nations saw a decrease, Northern Ireland 7.7%, Scotland 5.3% and England 1.1%.

Imports

  • Between October to December 2021, the value of goods imports to Wales was £4.7 billion.
  • In Wales, EU imports increased by 5.8% and Non EU imports increased by 14.2% compared to the previous quarter. Over the same period, the increase across the UK for EU imports was 4.2% and Non EU imports increased by 19.5%.
  • Three nations saw increases in imports compared to the previous quarter. Scotland saw the largest increase of 44.5%, followed by England 11.9% and Wales 11.3%. Northern Ireland saw a decrease of 2.3%.
  • Imports show an overall return to pre-pandemic levels (comparing to October to December 2019), which has been driven by Non EU imports. Three nations saw a decrease in imports from the EU over this period. Scotland saw a decrease of 17.0%, England 12.7% and Wales 5.2%. However, Northern Ireland saw an increase of 11.8%.

Notes

Because of changes to the way in which the data is collected, additional low value trade that was previously allocated to countries and regions may now be reported under the ‘Unallocated-unknown’ category. This has led to a likely reduction in the UK to EU export values, and total export values for Wales (and other regions) from January 2021 onwards. More detailed notes of these effects can be read in the HMRC full commentarty (UK Trade Info) on these statistics.Some of the exports data included in this report may get revised by HMRC as part of their routine revisions to the data set. The latest data will be available on the UK Trade Info website.

Further Information

The data above relates to international goods trade. Experimental statistics produced by the Office for National statistics suggest that service exports make up approximately 30% of total exports in Wales.

Main results are published quarterly.

Welsh Government statisticians are reviewing its analysis and publication of HMRC trade data including the contents of the annual goods trade bulletin. If you would like to be like to be involved in a review, or provide any feedback on any aspect of these statistics, please email stats.trade@gov.wales.

Data

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Contact

James Koe

Telephone: 0300 025 0346

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