In the machine tool sector, the UK recorded a trade surplus of £21.1 million in 2004.
In the machine tool sector, the UK recorded a trade surplus of £21.1 million in 2004, an improvement on the surplus of £12.2 million registered in 2003, according to the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).
Exports of machine tools from the UK in 2004 were fractionally up on the 2003 level at £401.9 million (the 2003 figure was £401.1 million), with the improved surplus coming about as a result of a fall of -2.1% in imports to £380.8 million.
UK exports of machine tools in the fourth quarter of 2004 were worth £103.9 million; this is +14.2% higher than in the third quarter of 2004, but is -6.6% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2003.
On the same basis, UK imports of machine tools increased by +10.1% compared to the third quarter of 2004, to £107.5 million; this is +22.4% up on the fourth quarter of 2003.
Breaking down the trade figures by product type reveals a strong surplus in three categories – Machining Centres (+£40.1 million), ‘Other’ Metal Forming Machines (+£14.9 million) and CNC Grinding Machines (+£14.2 million).
These were balanced in part by significant deficits for CNC Lathes (-£20.5 million), Sawing Machines (-£13.5 million) and CNC Boring Machines (-£10.2 million).
A small trade surplus was recorded with the European Union. This figure takes into account trade with the ten new member countries admitted in May 2004.
Among the other key trading partners there were mixed results with surpluses being recorded against the USA, China and India, but trade deficits with Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Switzerland.