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Data on Welsh goods trade to destinations outside the UK for April 2020 to March 2021.

The latest Regional Trade Data released by HMRC in this report is for the year ending March 2021. The data covers the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the first quarter’s trade following EU Exit. Data covers exports and imports of goods.

From 31 December 2020, the way HMRC collects trade in goods statistics 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 note).

January to March 2021 (provisional)

Short term, quarterly changes can be volatile, although are presented here given the interest in EU Exit impacts on trade from January to March 2021, however COVID-19 restrictions and lower demand due to the global economic downturn will also have had significant impacts on trade during this time.

Exports

  • In January to March 2021, the value of goods exports from Wales was £3.1 billion.
  • In Wales, EU exports decreased by 8.3% and Non EU exports decreased by 12.6% compared to the previous quarter. Over the same period, the decrease across the UK in EU exports was 15.8% and Non EU exports decreased by 8.1%.
  • All four nations saw decreases in exports compared to the previous quarter. Northern Ireland saw the largest decrease of 14.2% followed by Scotland 11.3%, England 11.0% and Wales 10.0%.

Imports

  • In January to March 2021, the value of goods imports to Wales was £3.5 billion.
  • EU imports to Wales decreased by 20.4% while Non EU imports increased by 3.5% compared to the previous quarter. Over the same period, the decrease across the UK in EU imports was 26.3% and Non EU imports decreased by 8.0%.
  • All four nations saw decreases in imports compared to the previous quarter. England saw the largest decrease of 16.3% followed by Wales 7.6%, Northern Ireland 4.5% and Scotland 2.8%.

Year ending March 2021

Exports

  • The value of goods exports for Wales was £12.6 billion, down £4.7 billion (27.1%) compared to the same period the previous year.
  • There was a decreases in exports to EU countries of £3.0 billion (28.6%) and to non-EU countries of £1.7 billion (24.9%), compared with the previous year.
  • Exports to the EU accounted for 58.8% of Welsh exports compared with 47.7% for the UK.
  • Exports from Wales continued to be dominated by ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, which made up 43.9% of exports.

Imports

  • The value of goods imports for Wales was £13.4 billion in the year ending March 2021, down £4.4 billion (24.7%) compared to the year ending March 2020.
  • There was a decrease in imports from EU countries of £0.8 billion (12.1%) and a decrease in imports from non-EU countries of £3.6 billion (32.0%), compared with the previous year. Imports from the EU accounted for 42.9% of Welsh exports compared with 51.9% for the UK.
  • Imports to Wales are dominated by ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, which made up 34.8% of imports.

Note

Because of changes to the way in which the data is collected, some small 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 commentary on these statistics.

Some of the exports data included in this report may get revised slightly by HMRC as part of their routine revisions to the data set. The latest data will be available on UK Trade Info.

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.

Key results are published quarterly. As a result of data issues identified within the raw data, StatsWales will be now be updated by Friday 16 June. Meanwhile the data is also available on the UK Trade Info website.

Welsh Government statisticians are reviewing its analysis and publication of HMRC trade data including the contents of the annual goods exports 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

Datasets and interactive tools

Contact

Cerys Ponting

Telephone: 0300 025 7342

Media

Telephone: 0300 025 8099