To ask Her Majesty's Government what factors have led to the four per cent reduction in freight exported through British ports in the year April 2017 to April 2018, as reported in the provisional quarterly statistics for major UK sea ports.
The rolling year from June 2017 to June 2018 showed a reduction of 2% in total outwards tonnage transported through UK major ports, compared to the previous year. The second quarter of 2018 (April to June) showed a 4% reduction compared to the same period in 2017. Outwards tonnage includes both international exports and domestic traffic.
We do not collect any more comprehensive data on quarterly figures other than what is given in the table. However, we have recently published the final figures for the calendar year 2017 (January to December) which include details on cargo categories and international exports.
Total outwards tonnage through UK major ports marginally increased by 0.1% to 177.6 million tonnes in calendar year 2017 compared with the previous year. Of this, 136.6 million tonnes were international exports, an increase of 0.8% compared to the previous year.
Compared with 2016, there was an increase in liquid bulk exports and a decrease in dry bulk and container exports in 2017.