In figures released in the second calendar year after the EU referendum, exports to non-EU countries amounted to around £342 billion in 2017, showing the worldwide demand for British goods and services remains. Exports to EU countries were around £274 billion in 2017.
The fastest growing export market for the UK since 2010 was Oman, with exports increasing by 354% to £3 billion. This was followed by Macedonia (FYROM) with UK trade growing by 318% to £1 billion and then Kazakhstan which was up by 210% to £2 billion.
Overall exports of goods rose by 13 per cent to £339billion, while services increased by 7 per cent to £277billion.
The total trade deficit – the difference between UK exports and imports – narrowed by £5billion to £25.8billion.
The US remained the UK’s top export market, buying over £112billion worth of goods and services in 2017, an increase of 8 per cent on the year before.
Other top markets included Germany, France, the Netherlands and Ireland.
Exports to Germany totalled £56.8billion last year – the second highest figure after the US. For France the total was £40.4billion, the Netherlands £39billion and Ireland £34billion.
British exports to China jumped to £22billion, a 29 per cent rise from 2016. It is now the UK’s sixth largest export market, accounting for 3.6 per cent of sales last year compared with less than 1 per cent in 1999.
Trade with India also increased, with the UK exporting £6.7billion there in 2017, up nearly a fifth from £5.7billion in 2016.