A new report analysing UK exports has revealed clothing, cars and cleaning materials as the three products growing quickest in overseas demand.
The analysis of the latest ONS data by Santander showed clothing exports increased by 16% in 2013, increasing their year-on-year value to £5.2bn.
Export of UK manufactured cars also grew, with industry value rising 14% to £25bn, reflecting the increased demand for British-made goods from the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley and Aston Martin.
The cleaning materials sector for products used to toilet cleansing and preparation was third in the list, seeing a year-on-year increase of 10%.
With manufacturing under the spotlight, the analysis also highlighted the UK’s best performing manufacturing sectors.
The resurgent automotive sector again featured alongside mechanical and electric machinery making and the pharmaceutical industry, with the trio accounting for more than a third (37%) of exports in 2013 with a value of £113bn.
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John Carroll, head of international at Santander UK, said: “We know that businesses that trade internationally tend to be more resilient and are more likely to grow than purely domestic businesses, so it’s encouraging to see overall export growth and the growth of key sectors.
Mr Carroll, whose institution served as an official partner of the July’s International Festival for Business which discussed exports, said work is being done to help businesses overcome a lack of knowledge of the market.
“While lack of knowledge on new markets can seem daunting to UK businesses wanting to grow internationally, this is an obstacle that can be overcome with the right support and the International Festival for Business is a great example of this,” he added.
Other manufacturing sectors showing export growth included the country’s world number two aerospace industry, which rose 8%.
Additionally, the export of beverages rose 2% to £7bn, meaning the UK exports more beverages than iron and steel (£6.1bn) or plastics (£5.6bn).
Markets that have seen exports decline in value include road vehicles other than cars (-6% to £6.8bn), and medicinal and pharmaceutical products, dropping 8% to £22bn, despite remaining among the UK’s top exporting industries.