The UK International Trade Index: Insights into UK trade with the rest of the world


The Lloyds Bank UK International Trade Index, written in partnership with IHS Markit, sheds light on international trade conditions to help British businesses trade internationally and navigate export markets.

Our UK International Trade Index brings together key export growth and supply chain indicators to provide timely insights into the challenges and opportunities for exporting.

The Index key findings include:

  • Global export climate deteriorates - Largest downturn in international trade volumes for just over six years in Q1 2019, with Asia and Europe posting particularly sharp declines in export sales. This highlights the broad impact of global trade tensions and a cyclical downturn in manufacturing, though manufacturers are optimistic that China US trade talks will soon resolve.
  • Both UK manufacturing and service sectors see worsening export orders - UK manufacturers report the weakest quarterly rise in export sales (50.4) since the beginning of 2016, while service sector new export orders experience the sharpest fall in 4 years (46.8).
  • Consumer goods and technology services buck the trend - Sales of consumer goods however remained strong with Textiles and Clothing exports posting the highest growth since 1997, buoyed by the weak sterling exchange rate. Technology firms also saw a rebound in new export orders with the sector index jumping 5 points to 51.0.
  • UK manufacturers see the opportunity in exporting – Interestingly in this challenging climate the proportion of UK manufacturers who are exporting jumped to a 14 year high. A positive sign for the governments export strategy.
  • Pre-Brexit stockpiling hits a 27 year high - UK firms saw historic levels of stockpiling in the first quarter of 2019 with Food & drink firms leading the charge. Our own research of just over 100 of the largest public companies in key sectors who have reported their financials for 2018 shows nearly 9% jump in stock worth £5bn.

To discuss any of the details of this report or get support from our trade specialists please contact your Relationship Manager.

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.

The UK International Trade Index

Insights into UK trade with the rest of the world

The UK International Trade Index

Download report
Back to top

Expert opinion and insight on the new international landscape and what Brexit means for businesses in Britain.

Find out more

A powerful insight platform, with practical support that helps you trade internationally with your chosen market.

Find out more

For more information, contact your local relationship director, or use our online directory.

Contact us

Important legal information

Calls may be monitored or recorded in case we need to check we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help improve our quality of service.

Lloyds Bank plc Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Telephone: 0207 626 1500.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under Registration Number 119278.

Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please note that due to FSCS and FOS eligibility criteria not all business customers will be covered.

Lloyds Banking Group includes companies using brands including Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland and their associated companies. More information on Lloyds Banking Group can be found at