International Trade News Update 18.03.24

Date: 18th March 2024 Category: Latest News
International Trade News Update 18.03.24

The Red Sea

The latest attack occurred when the crew of a UK-registered cargo ship abandoned the vessel after a missile hit it. No injuries were reported.

Legal consequences regarding the rights carriers can claim in war-risk circumstances are also emerging. Many carriers have turned to more force to terminate or modify contracts. In contrast, other contracts include an express provision allowing vessel owners to cancel or terminate transits should there be a risk of war or related activity. Economic consequences continue to significantly impact shippers who rely on spot rates, despite the sharp increase in spot rates, contract pricing has remained stable. However, long-term rate trends will be subject to demand, despite adjustments in capacity occurring in the next months. A general 0.5% increase in inflation is also expected in the long run if the crisis persists.

British Chambers of Commerce

The BBC joined over 20 EU ambassadors for a discussion on the experiences of UK businesses with EU trade, and to present policy recommendations and new findings.  They participated in the UK-EU Domestic Advisory Group meeting with other businesses, labour and third-sector stakeholders to discuss priorities for the year on UK-EU trade and economic relationship issues. The BCC joined the inaugural meeting of the Horizon Europe Participation Systems Group with other businesses, and science and technology stakeholders.

2024 UK Exports and Imports

The start of 2024 saw a further drop in goods exports, but an increase in imports. Services trade was broadly flat for January, but this was an improvement on the decline in these exports, to 4%, which marked the final quarter of 2023.

On the chained volumes measure, which removes the effect of inflation, overall, UK goods exports fell by 2.2% (£0.5 billion) in January compared to December. Goods exports to non-EU countries fell by 4.3% (£0.6 billion). The value of fuel and chemicals exports to the EU rose in January, offset by lower values of exports in machinery and transport equipment, including cars and aircraft.

Goods imports were up by 1.8% (£0.7 billion), led by an increase in non-EU goods imports of 4.8% (£0.8 billion). However, EU goods imports declined by 0.4% (£0.1 billion), although the value of fuel and food imports increased.

via Essex Chambers of Commerce