The number of manufacturing companies in the UK who are exporting goods has increased to the highest levels in over a decade.
Despite global trade difficulties, including within the EU, the Lloyds Bank UK International Trade Index has reported that over 81% of manufacturers exported goods in Q3 this year, up on Q2. That includes 75% of small manufacturers with less than 50 employees and 85% of large manufacturers.
Best performing sectors included chemicals, plastics, luxury and sporting goods.
However, total exports continue to fall with quarterly decreases worse than at any point in the last seven years.
The exporting sales slump has been hardest hit by the automotive industry where falling production and a growing consumer shift towards electric vehicles has seen exports decline steadily over the past 18 months.
Managing directors at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Gwynn Master and Edward Thurman commented on the results that: “Change is in the air, whether it’s the move to electric cars impacting the automotive industry, a turn in the global electronics cycle, or climate change protests in London. In this environment, there is an opportunity and a necessity for firms to compete by innovating, adapting and collaborating across their supply chains.”
Read more: Boost in non-EU trade for UK firms
Growth for non-automotive sectors is still very much apparent, however, with nine in 10 of the UK’s top export markets experiencing economic growth in Q3.