10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 1

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Export News Week 1 Ipswich

Welcome to the first edition of “Export News with Expordite” of 2024!

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 1 of 2024 – January 1st-7th.

Key News:

General Export News:

1. Business and Trade Secretary visits Turkey to boost trade ties

Ahead of the launch of talks on an upgraded trade deal with Turkey, Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch visits Istanbul to strengthen trade ties and kick off a year of boosting services trade.

The UK and Turkey have a thriving trading relationship, with trade up more than 17% in current prices to £26.2 billion in the year to June 2023. The two countries have an existing trade deal which covers goods but not services, digital or data – three key components of 21st century trade.

While there she will visit Turkish Airlines, who have just contracted Airbus to supply them with 220 planes, the wings for which will be designed in Bristol and built in North Wales, with Rolls Royce supplying engines, made in Derby, for much of the fleet. The contract is one of the UK’s biggest export deals to date, worth billions of pounds to the economy and supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

Source: GOV.uk

2. MUFG and export credit agencies unlock €1.2bn financing for Turkish electric railway

The financing package comprises a €1.027 billion loan guaranteed by ECAs and a separate €220 million commercial loan facility supported in part by the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC). MUFG was appointed the sole mandated lead arranger, coordinator, structurer and agent bank by the Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance.

UKEF guaranteed the ECA facility, with Italian (SACE), Polish (KUKE) and Austrian (OeKB) counterparts providing significant reinsurance. ICIEC provided insurance to several of the commercial lenders.

Source: GOV.uk

3. UK Export Finance backs Six Flags Qiddiya City deal in win for UK businesses

UKEF has guaranteed an Islamic Murabaha financing facility for c.$700 million signed by Qiddiya Investment Company to finance the construction of the Six Flags Qiddiya City theme park. This is being undertaken by a joint venture led by Bouygues Bâtiment International and Almabani General Contractors.

This is UKEF’s largest Murabaha financing to-date and first in the region, a move which helps UK exporters gain wider access to the opportunities being created by PIF’s investment in large-scale infrastructure development.

Source: GOV.uk

4. UK announces post-Brexit agricultural support scheme

The UK on Thursday revealed its long-awaited replacement of the EU’s agricultural support scheme, with new subsidies available for farmers to boost sustainable food production and protect the environment.

Under the new plans unveiled by Environment Secretary Steve Barclay, farmers will be paid for actions taken to maintain habitats and for using new technology to increase yields.

The system replaces the EU’s Basic Payment Scheme, which automatically provided income support for farmers as long as they adhered to rules on human and animal health and welfare, plant health, and the environment.

New subsidies will be on offer for farmers taking action to advance agricultural technology, such as robotic mechanical weeding.

There will also be payments to strengthen incentives for farmers to “create habitats and ensure they are rewarded for looking after habitats once they have created them”.

For instance, farmers will receive GBP765 per hectare for nesting plots for lapwing, and GBP1,242 per hectare for connecting river and floodplain habitat. 

Source: Morningstar

5. Ipswich awarded ‘Heritage Harbour’ status

“Ipswich has been awarded “Heritage Harbour” status in recognition of its historical significance.

The use of the port can be dated back to the 7th Century and became the largest wet dock in Britain in 1842.

The port of Ipswich is owned and operated by Associated British Ports (ABP) and is the UK’s leading agricultural export port, handling more than two million tonnes of cargo a year .

Source: BBC News

6. How can Bangladesh make the best of UK’s new trading scheme?

“The UK has announced the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), a liberal Generalised System of Preference (GSP) scheme replacing the latter to benefit developing countries and boost trade relations with the UK.

Launched in June this year, the scheme provides tariff concessions for developing countries exporting to the UK market. The UK’s total merchandise import was $779.97 billion in 2022, and Bangladesh holds only 0.7% of this market. Now, with all the favourable provisions of DCTS, the question remains: How can Bangladesh effectively realise the benefits of this new scheme?

Bangladesh is the UK’s 50th largest trading partner. Could we not become one of the 20 largest? Bangladesh exported 486 items to the UK in FY23 and is the third largest export destination for Bangladesh (9.56% of total exports in FY23), exporting $5.3 billion to the UK in FY23, EPB data shows. 

Source: The Business Standard

7. Scottish exports to Europe plunge 25% post-Brexit

Scottish exports to the EU fell by up to 25% two years after Brexit as trade with the rest of the UK rose, according to new figures from the Scottish Government.

The figures indicate that the value of Scotland’s exports has dropped by nearly £2 billion since the UK exited the UK from £16.950bn in 2019, to £14.970bn in 2021 – a 12% drop in two years.

It comes as exports to the rest of the UK rose by an almost equivalent amount – £1.89bn – from £46.695bn to £48.585bn.

The highest value drop in sales to the EU has come in the nation’s biggest export – refined petroleum products, coke, chemicals and chemical products which includes motor fuel. Exports dropped by £625 million to £2.48bn – a drop of 20%.

Source: Scottish Financial News

8. The U.K. Is Barring the Export of a Rare Medieval Statue Acquired by the Met. Will the V&A Snap It Up?

The U.K.’s under-secretary of state for arts and heritage, Stephen Parkinson, has temporarily withheld the export license for an exceptionally rare 12th-century ivory statue. Deposition from the Cross (ca. 1190–1200) was sold privately by Sotheby’s to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York late last year for more than $2.5 million, on the condition that it would be granted an export license.

The piece had been on long-term loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London from 1982 until late 2022, and the museum or any other buyer based in the U.K. now has until February 2 to either match the Met’s offer or signal their serious intent to raise the necessary funds. In the latter case, the deadline could be extended by an additional four months.

Source: artnet

9. UK Beef trade update: Exports and imports show uplift in October but still down against 2022

  • UK beef exports strengthened in October due to increased demand from Europe, but remained subdued compared to 2022 levels

  • Imports of Irish beef have risen by 4% (Sept-Oct), likely supported by price competitiveness, tight UK supplies and seasonal demand

  • GB R4L steer price continues to trade at an elevated level above those in Europe

Source: AHDB

10. British alcohol sales rise in CPTPP countries

Sales of British alcohol products such as English sparkling and Scotch whisky are on the rise in the Indo-Pacific region, the UK government has announced.

The uplift comes six months after the UK signed up to The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – an Asia-Pacific trade bloc made up of 11 other countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Leading the charge is Scotch whisky, which continues to dominate the Singapore market, with over £380m worth of exports from the UK to Singapore over the last year, an increase of 31% (£90m) in current prices on the previous year. Its popularity extends to other markets in CPTPP too, with a 43% (£11m) increase in Scotch whisky exports to Malaysia over the past year.


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