UK metal exports mostly increase on year in Oct: ONS

The UK saw exports of most metal categories rise in October 2022 on a year-on-year basis, with the EU27 remaining a major destination, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures published Dec. 12 by the Office for National Statistics.

Total exports of iron and steel for the month totaled GBP479 million ($588.7 million), rising 11.1% year on year, but down 2.4% month on month, according to the figures.

The UK’s largest iron and steel customer in October was the EU at GBP305 million, dropping 1.3% on the year and down 8.1% from September.

Main EU destinations were Ireland at GBP51.9 million and the Netherlands at GBP47.5 million.

Another major iron and steel destinations in October was the US at GBP62.9 million.

The UK’s exports of metal ores and scrap rose 2.8% on the year in October to GBP593 million, which was 1.2% lower than September’s volume, the data showed.

The largest destination of metal ores and scrap from the UK in October was the EU at GBP184 million, dropping 8.5% year on year, but up 3.4% from September, followed by India at GBP173.1 million.

Large EU destinations included Belgium at GBP57.35 million and Germany at GBP41.4 million.

Nonferrous exports up 42.6%

Exports of nonferrous metals also rose 42.6% on the year to GBP1.4 billion, although this dropped 34.1% month on month.

The largest taker of the UK’s nonferrous exports was the EU at GBP502 million, rising 61.9% year on year and up 4.8% from September. This included GBP200.8 million to Germany.

The UK also sent GBP270.4 million worth of nonferrous metals to India in October, down 3.4% year on year and falling 60.8% from September.

Other large nonferrous metal destinations during the month were GBP173.3 million to the US and GBP111.7 million to North Macedonia.

The UK also exported GBP676 million worth of miscellaneous metal manufactures in October, up 11.6% on the year and up 8.5% from September, of which GBP357 million went to the EU.

However, coal, coke and briquette exports for the month fell 6.7% year on year and were down 30% on the month to GBP14 million.

The ONS noted that it had excluded non-monetary gold and other precious metals in its statistics, due to gold movements tending to be large and highly volatile, distorting underlying trends.

Metal exports for the January-October period were higher year on year, with iron and steel exports totaling GBP4.97 billion, 29.7% higher on the year, the stats showed.

Coal, coke and briquette exports for the period rose 38.1% on the year to GBP156 million, while metal ores and scrap exports were 4.4% higher at GBP6.5 billion.

Nonferrous exports for the first ten months totaled GBP16.7 billion, up 24.5% year on year, while the UK exported GBP6.07 billion worth of miscellaneous metal manufactures, rising 12.1% on the year.

Iron and steel imports lower on year

The UK’s imports of iron and steel in October fell 11.1% year on year to GBP674 million, although this was up 18.2% from the previous month.

Imports came mostly from the EU at GBP408 million, up 7.7% year on year and rising 6% from September.

Major EU suppliers included Spain at GBP57.7 million, Germany at GBP53.8 million, the Netherlands at GBP49.3 million and Belgium at GBP44.5 million.

Turkey was another large iron and steel importers to the UK outside the EU28 in October at GBP86.1 million, the data showed.

Iron and steel imports for the January-October period rose 26.7% year on year to GBP7 billion.

The UK’s nonferrous metal imports in October edged 1.1% lower year on year to GBP1.15 billion, which was 24.4% higher month on month, according to the statistics.

The UK’s main nonferrous metal importer was the EU at GBP487 million, rising 21.4% year on year, but down 0.8% month on month.

Top EU suppliers were Germany at GBP131.05 million and Belgium at GBP103.4 million.

The UK also received GBP111 million worth of nonferrous metals from Switzerland and GBP166.3 million from South Africa in October.

Nonferrous metal imports for the January-October period dropped 19.9% year on year to GBP12.4 billion.

The country’s imports of metal ores and scrap totaled GBP407 million in October, climbing 13.1% year on year, but down 23.8% from September.

The metal ores and scrap were imported mostly from the EU at GBP180 million, jumping 73.1% on the year and up 10.4% month on month, with GBP110.1 million coming from Germany.

The UK’s metal ores and scrap imports for the January-October period fell 6.1% year on year to GBP4.5 billion.

Imports of coal, coke and briquettes for October totaled GBP219 million, up 87.2% year on year, but down 2.7% month on month, with South Africa the top supplier at GBP61.4 million, followed by Australia at GBP35.7 million.

This brought January-October imports of coal, coke and briquettes to GBP1.9 billion, climbing 139.3% year on year.

Imports of miscellaneous metal manufactures for the month totaled GBP1.2 billion, up 16.4% year on year and rising 6.9% from September. The January-October total was GBP11.8 billion, up 24.5% year on year.

— Jacqueline Holman