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EU trade in trouble as more than a fifth of British firms consider cutting exports

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A truck moves towards the entrance to the Port of Dover, UK.  Photo: John Sibley / Reuters

A truck moves towards the entrance to the Port of Dover, UK. Photo: John Sibley / Reuters

Nearly a quarter (23%) of UK exporters to the EU have said they plan to reduce or eliminate their blockchain activity in the next 12 months, following the ratification of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

This according to the results of the latest survey of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with Moneycorp.

Meanwhile, 44% of UK exporters to the EU said they plan to increase market activity and 27% will consolidate rather than grow. Another 10% plan plans to have no activity in the EU and 13% will reduce activity.

Fieldwork for the study, which received 1,024 responses from British firms in general, 466 of which were exporters to the EU, was undertaken between 18 and 31 January 2021.

Overall revealed, six in 10 firms in the UK plan to increase activity in the domestic market. 28% said they would consolidate rather than grow, 2% said they had no plans to be active in the UK market and 5% would reduce activity.

Among these, UK manufacturers (68%) and firms in the business-to-business (B2B) service sectors (63%) such as finance, law firm or marketing firms are more likely to expect to increase domestic activity.

Less than half (44%) of current UK exporters to the EU either have concrete growth plans or intend to grow without concrete plans. 27% will be consolidated rather than increased.

In contrast, almost a quarter (23%) of UK exporters to the EU either have no plans for activity in the EU export market (10%) or plan to reduce their activity in the EU export market (13%). ) during twelve months.

This follows BCC research released on 11 February, which found that 49% of exporters are having difficulty adapting to changes in trade in goods with the EU.

One-fifth (21%) of firms say currency risk is more troubling than two years ago. Manufacturers (28%) are more likely to report concerns.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson tells UK farmers ‘will not compromise’ on high food standards

Commenting on currency risk management, Lee McDarby, CEO of UK International Payments at Moneycorp said: The research released today is a testament to the strength, suitability and sustainability of our UK businesses, now looking to grow, to thrive and consolidate in new and exciting international markets.

Despite a rapid fire vaccine, seeing the GBP rise in recent weeks, it is safe to say that we are not yet out of currency instability forests and we expect the recovery path to be marked by GBP peaks and troughs. “

When asked if businesses were taking steps to manage currency risk, generally only 9% of respondents were. However, this percentage increased to 19% for producers.

According to research by Moneycorp, many firms in the UK aim to consolidate or grow in non-UK export markets, however proven volatility remains high.

With the pound strengthening by over 20% against the dollar since March 2020, and 8% against the euro, which means that if businesses were to exchange 100,000, this would be a change of $ 25,000 and $ 9,000 respectively.

READ MORE: The Brexit deal is a ‘daily’ battle for producers

BCC co-executive director Hannah Essex said: At a time when making Global Britain a reality is so important, the government needs to do more to help exporters expand their business in the EU.

“Giving short-term grants of up to 2,000 per company is welcome, but a much more ambitious approach, using tax credits to defraud some of the firms of the long-term costs of Brexit, is needed.”

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