UK Trade Is Golden: Despite Brexit Fears Gold Still Tops The Import & Export Lists

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Economy of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is currently ranked the tenth largest export economy in the world and has a negative trade balance of $220 billion, with annual exports of $404 billion and imports of $625 billion.

Brexit-related uncertainty is predicted to weigh heavy on the UK economy over the next few years.

However, unemployment rates and GDP growth are expected to remain at current levels throughout the transition period, according to a number of economic forecasts.

The UK is the fourth-largest importer in the world and the value of its imports have increased in the last five years at an annualized rate of 0.65%.

UK’s Top 5 Commodity Exports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Gold$15.6 billion
Platinum$4.17 billion
Crude Petroleum$13.2 billion
Silver$782 million
Wheat$517 million

UK’s Other Notable Exports

  • Cars – $40 billion
  • Gas Turbines – $19.3 billion
  • Aircraft Parts $15 billion
  • Hard Liquor – $6.78 billion
  • Paintings – $4.4 billion

The UK has witnessed decreasing export numbers at an annualized rate of 11.6% for the last five years.

UK’s Top 5 Commodity Imports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Gold$57.9 billion
Crude Petroleum$14.3 billion
Coffee$1.01 billion
Aluminum$1.69 billion
Fruit Juice$1.01 billion

UK’s Other Notable Imports

  • Cars – $45.6 billion
  • Packaged Medicaments – $18.8 billion
  • Vehicle Parts – $15.6 billion
  • Human and Animal Blood – $10 billion

UK’s Top 5 Export Destinations

  1. United States – $61.6 billion
  2. Germany – $43.8 billion
  3. France – $26.5 billion
  4. The Netherlands – $25.5 billion
  5. Ireland – $22.9 billion

More Information on the UK’s Imports/Exports


The UK is 5th in the global league table of gold exporters with annual exports of around $15.6 billion, which represents a 4.6% share of the world gold export markets.

It is one of the fastest-growing gold exporting countries with export values increasing by 580% in the last five years.


The UK currently sits 2nd in the global league table of platinum exporting countries and commands a 20.1% market share.

While some countries have witnessed significant falls in their platinum export numbers (Switzerland and Belgium have posted declines of 78% and 70% respectively), the UK’s export figures have remained largely unchanged for the last five years.

Crude Petroleum

The UK is the fifteenth-biggest exporter of crude petroleum and this represents 2% of all worldwide global crude petroleum exports.

The top fifteen exporters (Saudi Arabia exports almost double its nearest rival country, Russia) account for over 80% of the world’s crude petroleum exports.


The UK ranks 10th in the world in the silver exports league table and enjoys a 4.1% share of the worldwide export market.

The top fifteen export countries were responsible for shipping more than 85% of global silver exports, but China is the only country in the last five years to increase their export market, posting a 21% gain in that period, with the UK largely unchanged in its export numbers.


The UK lies 14th in the global league table of wheat exporting countries and has a 1.4% market share.

The UK is increasing that position and is the third-fastest growing wheat producer in the last five years, increasing exports by 22.7%, compared to Poland (up 158%) and Romania (up 82.3%).

Did you know?

The UK is a leading exporter of brochures with an annual export market worth $2.3 billion, while the US is the prime importer with 19% of the export total.

The country is also a leading exporter of paintings with an annual export market worth $4.4 billion.

A Few Interesting Facts

  1. An English scientist invented sparkling wine forty years before the Frenchman Dom Perignon was credited with inventing this famous celebratory drink.
  2. London has one of the oldest and largest transport systems in the world.
  3. The famous UK tourist attraction of Stonehenge is older than the Egyptian pyramids.
  4. The British consume 165 million cups of tea per day.

All figures based on OEC/IMF 2016 projections unless otherwise stated.

Interested in Trading Commodities?

Learn more about UK-based brokers include , ETX and IG.

Otherwise, you can start your research with reviews of these regulated brokers available in .

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