The ONS said that the latest estimate of the trend in recent months is that it has been flat, although it noted that due to several factors, initial estimates like the one issued on Tuesday may be less reliable than normal and these factors make interpretations of short term movements difficult.
In September, total exports of goods rose by 3 per cent to £21.9bn and total imports rose much by a much smaller margin of 0.5 per cent, equal to £29.3bn.
Excluding oil and other goods where prices fluctuate significantly, provisional estimates show that export volumes in the third quarter to September rose by 1.0 per cent while imports rose by 0.5 per cent compared with the previous quarter.
September’s provisional estimates show that export prices fell by 0.5 per cent for the month while import prices rose by 0.5 per cent from August.
In the third quarter, all the main commodity groups showed a rise in export volume except for those in the categories of finished manufactures and basic materials. Among imports, all the main commodity groups showed a rise in volume except for food, drink and tobacco.