May 17, 2022 4.07 pm

Lincolnshire exports drop dramatically after Brexit and pandemic

While importing half a billion pounds of Russian goods

Greater Lincolnshire’s export market decreased by nearly a fifth in 2020 compared to pre-pandemic, a report before Lincolnshire County Council will say next week.

The report also reveals that Greater Lincolnshire received £467 million of imports from Russia in 2020.

The authority’s Economy and Environment Committee on Tuesday will examine new plans to support greater “internationalisation” and improve the county’s import and export market.

The report has been put together the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department for International Trade and other partners.

“The Greater Lincolnshire economy has an international presence driven by the manufacturing and service sectors of the economy, with businesses exporting and importing goods and services across the globe,” it said.

The aim is to create a Greater Lincolnshire Internationalisation Strategy and Action Plan for 2022-2024 which helps business in the region access and improve their own import and export markets.

Statistics included in the report show that in 2020 the region exported around £4.19billion of commodities, down from £5.18billion pre-pandemic – a drop of 19.11%.

It imported £7.49billion of product, down from £8.55billion – down 14.15%.

Documents supplied to the council, noted that 2020 was seen as an “anomoly year” due to the Covid-19 pandemic and so looked at previous years data as well.

However, it also noted that Leaving the EU was also a factor “impacting upon confidence levels of all exporters”.

“The EU is a key market for GLLEP, many business owners have confirmed that they have temporarily stopped exporting due to actual, and in some case perceived, issues related to new regulation,” said the reports.

A breakdown of Greater Lincolnshire’s exports in 2020. | Image: GLLEP

Across the strategy there are five references to Brexit and three to the pandemic.

Data examined by the authors, shows that the county exports more goods to EU countries compared to the rest of the world, with a 63:37% split in 2015.

In 2017, 43.9% of Lincolnshire’s products and services were exported to the EU.

In 2020 our biggest export trade partners were the Netherlands (£548m) , Germany £353m), USA (£331m), Belgium (£299m)and Ireland (£295m).

Our greatest imports were from  Norway (£949m), Netherlands (£732m), China (£711m), Germany (£617m) and Russia (£467m).

Council bosses will more than likely welcome the Chinese imports as they have looked to court the country to invest in the county in recent years.

However, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine business leaders will likely be keeping a wary eye on the figures around the Vladimir Putin’s state.

Measures in the report before councillors next week lay out how the GLLEP and the DIT will arrange advisors for local businesses, take advantage of freeports such as those in the Humber, create Peer to Peer networks and utilise technology to share market information easier.

“The enclosed draft is considered a robust, forward thinking and effective plan to support Greater Lincolnshire’s exporters and importers (both existing and aspiring) over the next two financial years,” said officers.

“It brings together both the best of existing support, and in addition strategically coordinates the extensive range of internal and external resources and partners to provide and effective, efficient, and well promoted support to Greater Lincolnshire’s importers and exporters.”