February was a bad month for UK exports, when contrasted with its fellow G7 nations. Britain’s international sales tumbled -4.45% against January, underperforming against even the USA’s poor -3.82% result.
In contrast, Japan’s exports rose fastest of all the G7 countries in February, up by 1.99%.
The international delivery expert ParcelHero says the G7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and USA) had a lacklustre month, although the latest results from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show Japan, Germany, France and Italy all enjoyed some export growth.
UK exports fell from $39.11bn in January to $37.37bn in February. In contrast, Japan’s exports rose from $59.57bn in January to $60.76bn in February.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘The UK joined the USA and Canada in registering a drop in exports in February. Britain’s exports had the biggest percentage fall.
‘Here’s ParcelHero’s league table, showing how each of the G7 nations’ exports performed in February:
- Japan: 1.99%
- Germany: 1.30%
- France: 1.27%
- Italy: 0.30
- Canada: -2.45%
- USA: -3.82%
- UK: -4.45%
‘In terms of value, the UK’s exports total of $37.37bn was also bottom of the table, while the USA’s $167.80bn topped the chart. Germany’s $145.00bn exports total in February really puts the UK’s figures into perspective.
‘As well as this monthly dip, UK exports also fell year-on-year, by -2.91%. In contrast, America’s exports were up 5.49% YOY and Italy’s up 5.08% YOY. However, Japan registered the steepest annual decline, with its exports plummeting -7.23% YOY.
‘In terms of imports, the UK ranked mid-table against other G7 nations. In February, we imported -1.57% fewer goods than in January. Japan saw the steepest decline in imports, down -4.35% compared to the previous month.
‘One final set of figures: the UK’s net trade balance was -$22.90bn in February. That’s the second largest G7 international trade deficit, though considerably eclipsed by the USA’s -$91.99bn.
‘Clearly, the UK’s exports continue to struggle more than those of its G7 competitors. It’s vital that the UK continues to rebuild its relationship with the EU. With the Windsor Framework agreed, negotiations should be accelerated to ease the impact of the checks and red tape on UK trade with the EU imposed in the aftermath of Brexit.
‘Both importers and exporters can also maximise their profits by rethinking how they prepare items for transportation. By using too much packaging, they could be running up unnecessary charges. That’s because international carriers use a measurement called “volumetric weight” to calculate the size of a package. It measures the space a package takes, as well as its actual weight.
‘One problem is that different companies use different divisors to set this rate. Some also apply a different volumetric formula for their express service compared to their economy service.’