Latest figures show that the import and export balance for UK construction vehicles and equipment was very strong in for Q4 2021.
While this period showed different patterns for imports and exports, for the whole of 2021, both were at very high levels compared with recent years. Alongside this, the EU share of trade eased back from the peak levels seen in 2020 and could be a post-Brexit effect.
In the last quarter of 2021, imports and exports of construction and earthmoving equipment showed very different outcomes. Exports showed a significant increase of 21% on Q3 levels and reached a similar level to Q4 2018, which was a record quarterly level since trade has been monitored from 2013.
As a result, exports for the whole of 2021 were 25% above 2020 levels at £3,442 million, which was very similar to the high levels reached in 2019. In contrast, imports of equipment in Q4 showed a 22% fall on Q3 levels, continuing to fall after reaching peak levels in Q2.
However, despite the declines seen in the last two quarters, total imports in 2021 were still 67% up on 2020 levels, reaching £2,092 million. This was above the level of imports seen in 2019, which was the highest year since trade has been monitored from 2013.
This is consistent with the high level of equipment sales in the UK in 2021, which ended up above the peak levels seen in 2018 and 2019, and was the highest since before the financial crash in 2007.