EU exports to Britain rise as they fall with rest of the world

The latest Eurostat figures were at odds with data released earlier this week by the UK Office for National Statistics
EU exports to Britain rise as they fall with rest of the world

The most recently available figures from the CSO showed the Irish value of goods exports to Britain in the first five months of 2021 was €5.3bn, an increase of €553m on the first five months of 2020.

EU exports to Britain rose solidly in June from May, data released by the Eurostat website showed, contrasting with a slight drop in the EU's exports to the rest of the world.

Eurostat said that EU's seasonally adjusted exports to Britain, which left the EU's single market at the start of the year, increased by 4.7% in June on the month, whereas imports from the UK were "nearly unchanged".

The EU's growth in exports to Britain coincided with a 0.6% drop in the EU's exports to the rest of the world on the month, Eurostat said.

On the year, non adjusted figures showed that the 27-country bloc recorded in June a 22.3% increase in exports for a total volume of €188.3bn, and a 29.6% rise in imports resulting in a trade surplus of €14.8bn, down from €20bn in June 2020. 

The smaller eurozone, which comprises 19 of the 27 EU members, recorded a nearly 22% increase of exports and a rise of almost 17% in imports on the month which resulted in a €18.1bn surplus in June from €7.5bn in May. In June 2020, the eurozone surplus was €20bn. 

In the first half of the year, EU imports of goods from Britain were nearly 20% below their levels in the same period of 2020 and in June and May were also lower than volumes recorded at the end of last year, Eurostat data showed.

In Ireland, the most recently available figures from the CSO showed the Irish value of goods exports to Britain in the first five months of 2021 was €5.3bn, an increase of €553m on the first five months of 2020. The value of goods imports from Britain for January to May was €4.25bn, down by €2.3bn compared with the same period in 2020.

The latest Eurostat figures were at odds with data released earlier this week by the UK Office for National Statistics which showed British exports to the EU in May and June exceeded their levels immediately it left the single market.

The discrepancy is partly due to a change in the way Eurostat calculates trade with Britain after Brexit.

When Britain was still part of the EU's single market, all goods which moved from Britain to an EU member state were treated as British exports. But since the start of the year, goods which had an origin outside Britain - for example, goods made in China which are shipped into Britain and then on to the Netherlands - are now treated as imports from China rather than from Britain.

Partly due to this change in the methodology, non-seasonally adjusted figures published by Eurostat showed EU countries imported from Britain in the January-June period goods worth €65.9bn, over 18% less than the imports recorded in the same period last year.

Exports instead rose by 5.5%, leading to an EU trade surplus with Britain of €69.6bn in June, Eurostat said. Eurostat figures show that in June the EU imported from Britain goods worth €12.6bn and in May €11.5bn, down from imports worth over €15bn in each month of the last quarter of 2020. 

- Reuters and  Irish Examiner   

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