The Largest Exports of the United Kingdom

Products ready for export at the Dock, Felixstowe, Suffolk.
Products ready for export at the Dock, Felixstowe, Suffolk.

Cars, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, pharmaceuticals, gas, turbines, diamonds, and aircraft top the list of the top exports from the UK. The country was one of the first nations to industrialize, and it remains a global industrial powerhouse till date. The country’s economy heavily benefits from international trade. In 2015, exports from the UK were valued at $674 billion. The UK is a member of various trade organizations including the European Union, World Trade Organization, and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEC).

The Largest Exports of the United Kingdom

Economy Of The UK

The currency in circulation in the country is the Pound Sterling which ranks as the third most-held currency as a reserve globally. The country’s GDP is $2.906 trillion which ranks 5th while the PPP is $2.733 trillion to rank 9th. The GDP recorded a +2.0% growth in 2016. The GDP per capita stands at $43,770 to rank 13th and 27th by PPP at $41,158. The services sector in the country contributes the most to the GDP at 78.4% followed by production at 14.6% and construction and agriculture at 6.4% and 0.6% respectively. The UK boasts many industries, and the major ones include aerospace, consumer items, electronics, chemicals, telecommunications, tourism, industrial equipment, and automotive. The unemployment rate is 4.8%, and the services sector employs nearly 80% of the 31.75 million people who make up the country’s labor force. Foreign reserves held by the UK are estimated at $159.34 billion.

Top Exports Of UK

The UK is home to a highly developed automotive industry complete with global manufacturers including Nissan, Toyota, Ford, McLaren, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Cars exported out of the country are valued at $35,424 million. Vehicle parts and combustion engines further account for $5,961 million and $4,294 million of the exports respectively. Construction vehicles shipped are valued at $3,507 million while trucks exported are worth $3,255 million. The UK is an exporter of refined petroleum and crude petroleum, the former at $30,125 million and the latter at $24,318 million. Top manufactured exports are pharmaceuticals ($22,058 million); gas turbines ($14,141 million); aircraft panels ($8,863 million); hard liquor ($8,463 million); petroleum gas ($6,217 million); computers ($4,039 million); telephones ($3,730 million); jewelry ($3,680 million); valves ($3,417 million). The top natural resources exported from the UK are diamonds, gold, and platinum at $9,983 million, $3,328 million, and $3,256 million respectively. The country also exports human and animal blood at a value of $4,129 million.

Top Export Partners Of UK

The UK has established good trade relations with members of the European Union who import an estimated 53% of the country’s exports. Leading the pack is Germany accounting for 10.1% of the exports followed by Switzerland at 7%. The rest of the European countries by exports share are France (5.9%), Netherlands (5.8%), Ireland (5.5%), Belgium (3.9%), Spain (2.8%), Italy (2.8%), and Sweden (1.4%). Outside Europe, the US is the largest importer of goods from the UK at 14.5%. The two countries enjoy good bilateral trade relations and benefit from substantial foreign investments between each other. China is the largest importer of the UK exports in Asia at 6% followed by Hong Kong (2.1%) and South Korea (1.5%). The UAE and Saudi Arabia are the largest export partners of the UK in the Middle East at 2.2% and 1.5% respectively.

Future Prospects

In 2015, total exports from UK accounted for 17.3% of the country’s total output and 53% of exports were delivered to the European Union while about 22.5% of exports were destined to the Asian countries. Other exports from the UK were shipped to the North America and about 2.6% were destined to Africa. Since the UK exited the EU, it is expected the exports to the world would increase and a slight decline to the EU countries.

The Largest Exports of the United Kingdom

RankExportValue ($USD, millions)
2Refined petroleum30,125
3Crude petroleum24,318
5Gas turbines14,141
7Aircraft panels8,863
8Hard liquor8,463
9Petroleum gas6,217
10Vehicle parts5,961
11Combustion engines4,294
12Human and animal blood4,129
16Construction vehicles3,507

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