China overtakes Germany as UK’s top import market

China overtakes Germany as UK’s top import market

Since modern records began in 1997, Germany had been the UK’s biggest source of imports, except for a six month period at the end of 2000 and the start of the following year when the US briefly took the top spot.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report aimed to assess the impacts of Brexit and the coronavirus on the UK’s trade in goods.

It found evidence that trade had been disrupted at the start of the new relationship between the UK and the EU.

The ONS said German imports to the UK had fallen since April 2019, amid uncertainty over the details of Britain’s exit from the EU.

Germany’s motor industry also felt the impact of the pandemic as both vehicle production and global exports were hit.

In the UK, demand for new vehicles slumped as car showrooms were shut due to lockdown measures.

Exports of goods to Ireland saw the greatest proportionate fall of the UK’s top five exporting partners after the EU transition period, the ONS said.

Since modern records began in 1997, Germany had been the UK’s biggest source of imports, except for a six month period at the end of 2000 and the start of the following year when the US briefly took the top spot.

Despite a 23.1% fall in total trade with European Union countries as a whole in the period, the EU remains the UK’s biggest trading partner, the report found.

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