British trade with the EU plummeted in the first month after the country left the EU. Union exports fell 40.7 percent in January compared to the previous month, according to the ONS Statistics Office in London. Imports fell 28.8 percent. Christian Gesberg, an economic representative in London, told the APA that foreign trade with Austria had also declined: “This is an epidemic with the brake booster Brexit.”
According to British figures, total exports and imports to Great Britain fell by one-fifth in January. The dpa reported that this was the largest monthly decline since records began in January 1997. The Champ of Commerce does not yet have accurate figures on the decline in Austrian exports and imports.
On the one hand Gesberg finds the cause of the January fracture, which is the corona epidemic, which led to a complete shutdown with a large number of infections in Great Britain in January, and the effects of Brexit on the other. In 2020 the warehouses were filled “up to the roof hatch,” fearing Brexit and supply restrictions without a contract. So he points out that January figures in foreign trade are only a “snapshot”. In London, business and fitness service providers are still closed. There are also crisis winners in about 250 Austrian branches in Great Britain, mainly in mechanical engineering, systems and key products.
The automotive sector has been particularly hard hit in the UK. In January, car production on the island fell for the 17th consecutive month. The number of vehicle registrations in January was down 39 percent compared to the previous year. The Austrian representative to the Chamber of Commerce says you should not buy a car in a locked space. The British were more severely affected by the corona epidemic than continental Europe because they walked too late in the first wave and had to close construction and industry. A successful vaccination campaign is underway, so expectations for 2021 are based on a “soft recovery” in the UK economy, starting at a low level.
Now that Great Britain has finally left the EU, customs duties are also in foreign trade. For Austrian companies, customs announcements cost an additional 40 40 million a year – with exports totaling 4 4 billion, Gesberg, an affordable sum, he told ORF Radio lunch1 magazine on Tuesday. With Great Britain about 150 domestic companies dominate the movement of goods, the additional cost for these companies is manageable. However, problem children are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with less export experience.