August 14, 2020

Top 3 UK Trading Partners

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the strongest and powerful countries in the world in economic, military and soft-power terms. The country has been in recent years hit by the 2008/9 economic crisis and also by the Brexit process that continues to affect the British economy as a whole. 

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the strongest and powerful countries in the world in economic, military and soft-power terms. The country has been in recent years hit by the 2008/9 economic crisis and also by the Brexit process that continues to affect the British economy as a whole. 

In this article, we will go through the three main trading partners of the United Kingdom and understand which is the relation they play with the UK. The main trading partners of the United Kingdom include the United States, Germany and also the Netherlands (2019).

United States

The United States is nowadays the most powerful country in the world and the largest economy by far. In military terms, there is no country or group of countries that could surpass the U.S. in terms of military expenditure. 

This is currently the largest UK trading partner according to the Office for National Statistics, with a total of £182.58 billion. The main exports of the United Kingdom to the United States where 24% Machines and 22% vehicles and the total exports amount for £112.21 billion. Imports from the United States amount for £70.36 billion. 

These imports make reference to 23.25% machines and 12.3% mineral fuels, oils and other derivatives. 

The United States continues to play a very important role as an ally of the United States and this can be seen in the way they trade. The United Kingdom is certainly benefiting from the current relationship that it has with the United States. 

In the future, there could be new agreements and trade deals with the United States, which can make it certainly easier to export and import goods from this country. It is also worth mentioning that there are many areas where these two countries could continue to increase their trade volumes. 


Germany is the most powerful player in the European continent. The 80-million people country is the second-largest trading partners for the United Kingdom with a total trading volume of £134 billion GBP between imports and exports. 

The United Kingdom is currently importing £78.10 billion each year from Germany. Exports to Germany are currently £56.81 billion. There is currently a negative trade balance with Germany, which is the second largest after China. 

28.5% of the imports from Germany are related to vehicles followed by Mechanical objects with 23.46%, as reported by the OEC. Other important products include pharmaceutical products and plastics, among other things. 

In terms of exports to Germany, the United Kingdom is selling 21,6% of Vehicles, including aircrafts and spacecrafts. Other products include Pharmaceutical products and other chemicals, mineral fuels and plastics. 

Germany is clearly a very important partner of the United Kingdom, and it is logical that as the largest country in Europe it would have a prominent role in the UK economy. However, it will be certainly important for the United Kingdom to reduce the trade deficit it has with Germany and try improving and increasing its exports to this country. 

Despite that, Germany is the second export destination for UK products after the United States. 

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is the third-largest partner for the United Kingdom in terms of total trade with £85.97 billion in trade just in 2019 according to the Office for National Statistics. This is surprising, considering France is below in the fourth position with £81.19 billion.

The Netherlands is currently having a positive trading volume with the United Kingdom. The UK is currently exporting £39.04 billion each year to the Netherlands and it imports £46.94 billion. 

This country was the one that saw many companies located in the United Kingdom locate their headquarters after the Brexit took place. At the same time, the historical links between the Netherlands and the UK are clear and show the large trading relationship these two countries currently have. 


In this post, we shared with you which are the main trading partners of the United Kingdom and how much trading volume they handle. We have also analyzed the imports and exports they are currently handling according to each of the partners. 

Although these were just three trading partners, other large and growing countries for the UK’s commerce include France, China, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. The Asian and South American continent could certainly increase their presence in this list and increase the trading relationships with the United Kingdom in the future. 

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