The UK’s positive balance of trade for construction machinery continues to get bigger. Imports have also grown, but not as fast as exports.
In Q3 2017, the trade surplus increased significantly to £381m, the highest quarterly level since 2014. In the first nine months of the year, the export surplus has shown a 33% increase on the same period in 2016.
UK imports of equipment increased by 12% in value in the first nine months of 2017 compared with 2016. This reflects increased demand in the domestic equipment market this year, the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) said.
In the third quarter of 2017 exports increased by 1.3% on Q3 2016, representing a fourth consecutive quarter of growth. Total value of Q3 exports was £723m, which was the highest quarterly level since Q2 2015.
The CEA said that demand for UK machinery was boosted by the weaker value of the pound since the middle of 2016.
The USA remained the top destination for UK exports in the first nine months of 2017, accounting for 23% of total construction equipment exports by value. Collectively, exports to EU28 countries have increased to 44% of total exports, up from 41% in the same period of 2016.
Imports showed a reduction in Q3 compared to the previous quarter, following the same seasonal pattern as the last two years, peaking in Q2 (April-June) and bottoming in Q4 (October-December). However, imports in Q3 2017 were 6% higher by value than Q3 2016, reaching £342m.
For the first nine months of 2017, imports are 12% higher than the same period in 2016 on a value basis at £1,128m.
Japan remains the single biggest country source of imports in 2017, accounting for 20% of total imports of equipment in the first nine months of the year on a value basis