International trade worth £9.75bn

Kersten England

Research commissioned by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has collated international trade data at a City Region level for the first time.

Findings reveal that the City Region’s international trade in 2015 was worth an estimated £9.75billion, 67 per cent of the total value of Yorkshire & Humber goods exported.

Kersten England chief executive of Bradford and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) lead chief executive for business, innovation and growth said: “This research is vital because there is an historic lack of data at a City Region level about the scale of our international trade.

“This provides a snapshot in time demonstrating how important exporting is for our economy and for businesses individually.  It also allows us to better target our resources through investigating specific market opportunities and to find out if there is more demand for certain products.”

The report shows medicinal & pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals and general industrial machinery and equipment as the top three categories that account for 44%t of the city region’s total exports in 2015.  Medicinal and pharmaceutical products were the most important export by value, worth £2.56bn in 2015.

The largest contributors to the value of exports at a district level were Leeds (£4.1bn), Bradford (£1.6bn), Kirklees (£1.3bn) & Wakefield (£1.3bn).

The detail of the report gives an understanding of the drivers behind Leeds City Region’s contribution to national exports. The latest trade statistics for the first quarter of 2017 released by HMRC show that in the year to March 2017, the UK export value went up 11% on last year.  All English regions saw an increase, including an increase of 7.6% in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The research concludes that markets showing the most potential for Leeds City Region’s strongest selling categories include: Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico.