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UK exports up but number of companies falls

THE NUMBER of British companies exporting goods fell slightly during the fourth quarter of last year according to government data.

During the fourth quarter of 2009, 1,764 UK companies exported goods, marking a 3.4 per cent decline on the same period last year.

After analysing data provided by the government, Close Treasury – a subsidiary of Close Brothers bank – found that despite the overall fall in exports, the value of British exports increased during the quarter by £28m, marking a marginal climb of 0.5 per cent as compared to the previous year.

Exports from Northern Ireland dropped by as much as 22 per cent during the last quarter of 2009, as compared to 2008, marking a £361m drop in the value of exports.

Scottish companies, however, saw the value of exports climb by £500m, marking a 13.4 per cent increase as compared to the same period last year. It is the largest climb in the UK.

The US remains the biggest customer of UK exports and accounted for £9.4bn or 15.5 per cent of the total number of exports.

Close Treasury said that currency fluctuations were very costly for UK exporters.