Trade surplus for UK machine tools

UK exports of machine tools in the second quarter of 2005 were worth £113.6 million, a rise of 22.7% compared to the first quarter of 2005.


UK exports of machine tools in the second quarter of 2005 were worth £113.6 million, a rise of 22.7% compared to the first quarter of 2005 and 12.3% higher than in the second period of 2004, according to the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).


On the same basis, UK imports were worth £108.6 million, 16.9% up compared to the previous quarter and 13.2% up on the same period a year ago.


For the first half of the year, exports were worth £206.3 million, an increase of 1.3% on the first half of 2004, while imports increased by 14.1% to £204.5 million. This gave a trade surplus for the first half of 2005 of £1.8 million.

 

Compared to the first half of 2004, deliveries to the European Union increased, while exports to the rest of the world fell. Exports to the USA fell sharply, although only back to the level seen in 2003, suggesting that this is a reflection of a good start to 2004.

 

There was a similar trend for China, although here the fall in exports in 2005 was not as large and this year’s total is the second highest on record for the first six months (behind only the 2004 figure).

 

For imports, the pattern of trade was reversed, with arrivals from the EU slightly lower than in the same period of 2004, but a strong increase in imports from the rest of the world.

 

This was led by large percentage increases for Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, although imports from China, Canada, Australia and Turkey also rose significantly.

 

Analysis of the data by product type shows a strong surplus in Machining Centres (+£15.2 million) and CNC Grinding Machines (+£15.2 million), while the largest trade deficits was for CNC Lathes (-£15.8 million).

 

Within total exports, metal cutting machines accounted for 82% and metal forming machines for 18%; for imports the ratios were 77% and 23% respectively.

 

The MTA report was based on data from HM Customs & Excise.