The value of UK exports via Heathrow has increased 9.7% over a 12 month period as vaccines for medicine experience almost 100% growth and Chinese demand for UK products continues to grow.
New data has revealed over £7 billion worth of British exports travelled to China via Heathrow between August 2014 and July 2015, representing a 117% increase on the previous 12 months and over 15% of total UK export goods via Heathrow by value.
The research has been shared by Heathrow to celebrate British Export Week (9 – 13 November), and reveals that if Heathrow had unconstrained capacity, the value of Britain’s exports to China via the airport would overtake the USA as the biggest destination within two years. Asian nations already make up four of the top five UK export destinations by value.
Top 5 UK Export Destinations (by value via Heathrow)
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- USA – £14 billion
- China – £7.6 billion
- Hong Kong – £4.5 billion
- United Arab Emirates – £4 billion
- India – £1.9 billion
Although vaccines for human medicine are the UK’s sixth most valuable export via Heathrow they have risen rising by 97% and 87% respectively over the previous two years –brought about by recent world health crises. As the biggest port in the UK by value of goods, Heathrow has played an important role in exports and recently announced a proposed a blueprint plan to develop cargo facilities and overhaul processes and people and grow UK cargo volumes. This will support the UKTI and Government’s drive to hit £1 trillion worth of UK exports by 2020.
Top 5 UK Export Commodities (by value via Heathrow)
- Precious metals – £26 billion
- Aircraft turbojets – £3.3 billion
- Jewellery – £3 billion
- Medicaments – £2.8 billion
- Paintings and Drawings – £2.4 billion
Other highlights of the research show:
- The equivalent of 17,278 A380 passenger aircraft (over 345, 575 tonnes) of British produce was exported through Heathrow during Aug 2014-Sept 2015
- Precious metals (£26 billion) are the UK’s most valuable export travelling via Heathrow, followed by aircraft turbojets (£3.5 billion) and jewellery (£3billion)– demonstrating the UK’s reputation for quality manufacturing and engineering
- The value of Jewellery exported via Heathrow has increased 18% over the past two years, while paintings and drawings have also registered growth of 60% in the last year alone
- Fresh Salmon is the UK’s number one export by weight via Heathrow, with 46,000 tonnes exported in the most recent 12 month period, the same weight as 230 blue whales
- Books and Brochures are the UK’s second largest export by weight via Heathrow with over 20,000 tonnes exported in the 12 months leading up to July 2015; the equivalent to around 1,600 double decker buses
- Overcoats and raincoats are one of the biggest growth exports by weight via Heathrow, with a 60% growth on 2014 figures, highlighting the continued growth of the British fashion and design sector.
To further celebrate Export Week, Heathrow has partnered with UK Trade and Investment and its Exporting is GREAT campaign to create a unique Export Café. The installation is on site at Heathrow Terminal 5 departures until Tuesday 17th November and showcases 25 of the UK’s best exports.
The café offers passengers the chance to learn more about the variety of exports that travel through Heathrow in the belly hold of commercial aircraft every day. It will also have a tasting menu comprised of produce exported through Heathrow, showcasing the best of UK food and drink that Britain shares with the world.
Commenting on the launch of the export research and the Heathrow Export Café, Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Strategy Director said:
“At Heathrow we are delighted to support the UK government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign to help raise awareness of the benefits of exporting and support network that is in place to help businesses across Britain to reach dining tables and markets across the world.
“The true heroes of this campaign are the businesses who have gone beyond UK borders and opened new markets to the benefit of their local communities and the UK’s economy.”
The Rt Hon Lord Maude of Horsham, Minister for Trade and Investment said: “Exporting is GREAT is the government’s most ambitious export campaign ever, aiming to inspire and support 100,000 additional UK exporters to sell their goods and services overseas by 2020. I’m delighted that Heathrow will be partnering with us to extend and sustain the campaign’s reach and provide support to businesses to boost their capability and help them successfully access international markets.”
Heathrow will be working with the UK government throughout Export Week; celebrating businesses up and down the UK who have taken their businesses to markets across the globe.