Clothing exports amounted to a massive £5.2 billion – a year-on-year increase of 16%. The value of exported cars rose 14% to £25 billion. On a less glamorous note, third place for top export went to toilet and cleansing preparations with a value of £5.3 billion in 2013 compared to £4.8 billion in 2012.
In manufacturing, the three most valuable industries to the UK economy in terms of exporting are machinery (mechanical and electric), cars and pharmaceuticals. Together these have a value of £113 billion. Refined and crude oil are also significant British exports.
Export growth is ‘encouraging’ for British businesses
John Carroll, Head of International at Santander UK, said: “We know that businesses that trade internationally tend to be more resilient and are more likely to grow than purely domestic businesses, so it’s encouraging to see overall export growth and the growth of key sectors.
“Markets can seem daunting to UK businesses wanting to grow internationally, this is an obstacle that can be overcome with the right support. Exporting is a key part of the success of the UK economy and Santander is committed to supporting international trade opportunities and helping UK companies grow and prosper.”
After clothing and cars, other successful export products featured in the top results included: aircraft (£11.3bn in 2013 compared to £10.6bn in 2012), scientific and photographic equipment (£11.1bn in 2013 compared to £10.3bn in 2012), iron and steel (£6bn in 2013 compared to £5.7bn in 2012), mechanical machinery (£41.6bn in 2013 compared to £39.4bn in 2012) and fertilisers and other chemicals (£5.3bn in 2013 compared to £5.1bn in 2012).