News

UK on course to drop from Germany s top 10 trading partners

UK on course to drop from Germany s top 10 trading partners
Business
Germans spent £13.8bn, or nearly 11%, less on British goods in the first six months of 2021, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office.

Companies are actively swapping UK suppliers for EU ones, seeing British exports "free-fall" - and this trend is only increasing, an expert said.

Britain left the European Union s single market at the end of 2020 after four years of wrangling. Since then, customs checks have been implemented which have complicated trade.

"More and more small and medium-sized companies are ceasing to trade (in Britain) because of these hurdles," said Michael Schmidt, president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany. They "simply can t afford the extra burden of keeping up to date and complying with all the kicked-in customs rules such as health certificates for cheese and other fresh products".

Two sectors that have been particularly hard hit are agriculture and pharmaceuticals, where imports have dropped by 80% and half respectively.

This has seen Britain fall down the ranks of Germany s top trading partners: it is likely to hit 11th place this year from ninth last year, and fifth before it voted to leave the EU in 2016.

Despite this, the UK is still buying a lot from Germany, with imports up 2.6% to $32.1bn in the first six months of this year.

Mr Schmidt says the new trade realities would have hit small British companies more than German ones, as they were less accustomed to selling their goods outside the European Union: "For many small British firms, Brexit meant losing access to their most important export market... It s like shooting yourself in the foot. And this explains why German imports from Britain are in free-fall now."

Gabriel Felbermayr, president of the Kiel-based Institute for the World Economy said these impacts aren t going anywhere: "The UK s loss of importance in foreign trade is the logical consequence of Brexit. These are probably lasting effects."
Read more on bbc.com
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Business
Goods imported from China rose 66 from the start of 2018 to £16.9bn $24bn in the first quarter of this year, the Office for National Statistics said. Imports from Germany...
Business
Despite the tariff free deal agreed with the EU, a study by the University of Sussex found up to £3.5bn of British exports had taxes applied. That accounts for about 10...
Business
Many traders now believe they will be paying taxes on exports and imports of certain types of food and clothing that are not fully made in Britain. There are also...
Business
It is the latest twist in a decades old trade row that has seen the EU and the US target billions of dollars worth of each other s exports with taxes....
World
The European Parliament is expected to ratify the post Brexit EU UK trade deal, amid tensions including a French threat of reprisals against the UK. The Trade and Co operation Agreement TCA has...