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Reacting to the latest ONS figures on Trade for July 2022, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: 
“July was a better month for UK trade than the previous month. We are seeing trade in fuels, particularly oil and gas, at elevated levels. Vehicle and other mechanical engineering exports did well too.  

“We will be outlining measures which could consolidate the progress in this set of trade data over the coming months once the period of national mourning has come to an end.” 

Trade data overview 

Overall goods imports from the EU decreased by 0.3% (lower car imports from Germany and Spain were factors here) while goods exports to the EU rose by 7.9%. Fuel exports to the EU rose by £0.8bn in July alone, largely down to increased oil and gas exports to the Netherlands and oil exports to France.  

Non-EU goods imports fell by 1.5% in July 2022, offset by higher levels of gas imports from Norway and refined oil from Kuwait. Overall goods imports were 0.9% lower in July 2022 compared with the previous month.  

Total goods exports in July 2022 rose by 6.7%, with a 7.9% rise in exports to the EU accompanied by a 5.4% rise in goods exports to the rest of the world. Exports of ships to Gibraltar, mechanical machinery items to China, and vehicles to the US and China were at the centre of the rise in rest of the world goods exports in July.  

The overall trade deficit (ex-inflation) narrowed in the 3 months to July 2022 by £2bn, coming in at £20.8bn. 

Jane Rose, Head of International Trade at the Essex Chambers of Commerce said:
"I am pleased to receive some positive news. However, from speaking with Essex businesses, we know that SME’s in particular are still struggling with exports to the EU. Understanding new rules and regulation together with lack of resource both labour and financial are key issues. 

I would be very interested in hearing from any Essex businesses who are struggling with, or have ceased, exporting since Brexit." 

You can contact our International Trade Department here

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