LONDON, May 26 (Xinhua) -- China surpassed Germany as Britain's biggest single import market in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, the British Office for National Statistics has said.
Goods imports from China to Britain soared to 16.9 billion pounds (about 23.95 billion U.S. dollars) in Q1, accounting for 16.1 percent of the country's overall goods imports, significantly higher than the second place of Germany at 12.5 billion pounds (17.71 billion dollars), the office said Tuesday.
In addition, goods imports from China increased by 41.1 percent between January 2020 and December 2020, driven by telecommunications, sound equipment, textiles, and clothing, the office added.
The recent increase in imports from China shows a continuation of a long-term trend of increasing imports, "likely because of the relatively limited impact of COVID-19 on Chinese exports," the office said.
Notably, of Britain's top five import partners, China is the only one for which imports grew between Q1 2018 and Q1 2021, it added.
During the past three years, goods imports from China rose by 65.6 percent, followed by Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, and France.
Meanwhile, total goods trade, including imports and exports, from non-European Union (EU) countries overtook that from EU countries in Q1 this year, according to data from the office.
Goods imports from non-EU countries, excluding precious metals, fell by 0.9 percent between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, while exports increased by 0.4 percent, which "contrasts the significant falls seen for both imports and exports with the EU," the office said.
The continued global impact of COVID-19 and uncertainty surrounding the effect of Brexit have contributed to increased volatility in goods trade across Britain throughout 2020 and into early 2021, it added. Enditem