A Closer Look at Imports of the UK

The UK has the fifth-largest economy concerning nominal GDP. Being a member of the EU allows the UK to trade freely with 27 other countries. The United Kingdom has been in the limelight for quite a time now, and the trading commodities will be significantly affected by the Brexit deal. Although studying previous data gives us insights over the trends currently in place.

During the financial year 2018, imports in the United Kingdom witnessed a growth of 5 percent from its preceding year. That is, in 2018, the United Kingdom imported goods worth $673.1 billion from around the globe.


Among the total imports, more than half were purchased from their fellow European countries, precisely 59.3 percent. The market in Asia provided for 22 percent of the total imports while that of North America accounted for 12.2 percent.

Following are the percentage breakdown of each category of the imported goods in terms of total imports:

  1. Machinery, including computers, were the significant goods imported in the United Kingdom. It accounted for 12.9 percent of the total imports amounting to $87 billion.
  2. Vehicles worth $75.1 billion were imported from overseas, contributing to 11.2 percent of the total imports.
  3. Electrical goods and similar types of equipment amounted to $69 billion. This accounted for 10.3 percent of its share in the total stock.
  4. Mineral oils and fuels are one of the most significant imports in the UK, offering 9.9 percent of the total share. It amounted to a whopping $66.9 billion.
  5. Gems and other precious metals were imported for the worth of $40.2 billion to total Britain’s imports.
  6. Pharmaceutical products were imported at $30.3 billion.

However, in June 2019, purchases of goods went down by 3.6 percent marking it the third sequential decline for the UK market. The trade deficit widened from $3 billion to $17.2 billion in the early months of 2019. The main driver for the gap, as mentioned earlier, is the rise in imports. The surge in imports witnessed is due to imports of indefinite goods, including non-monetary gold, among other things.

Among the comprehensive list of trading partners, the UK has ties extensively with the United States, Germany, Netherlands, France, Ireland, and China.

Impacts of Brexit deal on UK imports

The decision of Brexit is bound to make some modifications, if not drastic, at the imports of the UK. Following the Brexit deal, the UK will be omitted out of the EU, and therefore if the EU makes trade negotiations with non-EU countries, the UK will be left out.

Mostly, one can expect that imports will be more costly.

The following article contains data for the imports of United Kingdom. It takes an informative look at the trading market as well as the impacts of the Brexit deal.