Ukraine invasion dents UK exporter optimism

The percentage of UK exporters expecting turnover to fall this year has increased from 11% to 19% since the start of the Ukraine conflict, with fear of non-payment spiking since the invasion from 27% to 53%.

A cocktail of uncertainty caused by ’long Brexit’, the Ukraine invasion, and disrupted supply chains has left UK exporters the least optimistic in Europe, curbing growth ambitions and increasing fears of late and non-payment, according to figures from Allianz Trade.

The first annual Allianz Trade Global Survey suggests that three in five (60%) UK exporters expect geopolitical concerns to become more challenging in 2022, greater than the share in France (40%), Germany (44%) and Italy (58%).

Half of the UK exporters surveyed consider sanctions on Russia as a source of concern for their businesses.

One in 10 were already worried about export turnover declining before the invasion started, the highest a number of the six countries (China, France, Germany, Italy, UK and US) in the research from leading trade credit insurer (formerly Euler Hermes), a number which has now risen to one in five UK exporters.

Exporters in the UK were also the most concerned about the impact of the war on their domestic economy, and 39% of UK companies expect Brexit to become more of a challenge for export performance in 2022.

Ana Boata, global head of economic research at Allianz Trade, said: “Even if Russia and Ukraine are not key final markets for European exporters, the war is affecting global trade indirectly – through supply chains, raw material and energy – weighing on export opportunities for firms."

Out of all the countries in the survey, companies in the UK were the most concerned about high energy prices before war broke out.

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