The plastics market has remained strong despite UK manufacturing exports falling in 2020’s Q2, according to the Lloyds Bank International Trade Index.
With Covid-19 impacting international supply chains, the Index hit a historic low of 34.6 for manufacturing exports between the months of April and June, replacing the previous drop to 38.8 in the 2009 financial crisis.
A reading above 50 signifies market growth.
93% of manufacturers surveyed attributed the new low to the impact of Covid-19, with basic metals (28.3) and automotive (31.5) exports seeing the sharpest drop.
However, exports of plastics (41.1) have fallen at a significantly slower rate than other manufacturing goods, with the end of Q2 showing early signs of a return of international demand.
Gwynne Master, Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking’s Managing Director, commented, “The results demonstrate the full impact of the pandemic as swathes of the global trade markets shut down amid efforts to help contain the spread of the virus.
“Export measures hit an all-time low in Q2 although we see small signs of recovery as early as May and into June. While it is too early to talk about the trajectory of recovery, it is encouraging to see enhanced external demand, signs that China’s economy is stabilising, and some UK consumer goods’ export growth in June.
“Government schemes and finance options continue to be made readily available, which will help UK exporters continue to trade, to position for a return to normality to international trade, and to prepare now for potential future disruption.”