The European Union's imports from the United Kingdom fell by 18% year-on-year in the first half of the year, following the trade agreement for the post-Brexit period and its implementation on 1 January, according to official European statistics released.
According to Eurostat, UK exports to the EU fell in value terms by 18.2% in the first six months of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
The figures differ from those released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, which showed that (UK) exports of goods to the EU, with the exception of precious metals, were higher in May and June than before Brexit.
The European Statistical Office uses different methods from the British Statistical Office to measure cross-border trade, which can lead to divergent estimates.
By contrast, EU exports to the UK increased by 5.5% year-on-year in the first half, according to Eurostat.
As a result, the trade deficit of the “27” with their neighbor on the other side of the English Channel increased to 69.6 billion euros for this period, compared to 47.8 billion in the first half of last year.
Among the EU's ten largest trading partners, the United Kingdom (third in the ranking) is the exception: all others (China, United States, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Norway, South Korea and India) saw their exports to the European bloc to grow. Instead, EU exports increased to each of these ten countries.
Overall, Eurostat data show a 22.3% increase in European exports in June year-on-year to € 188.3 billion. During the same period, EU imports increased by 29.6% to € 173.5 billion.