Britain's overall trade deficit fell by £0.4 billion to £4.1 billion during September, official figures have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today said that the deficit on a quarterly basis remained broadly flat at £13.3 billion, after surpluses in services were offset by ongoing trading shortfalls.
In September the value of imports and exports to the UK both fell, with Britain's deficit with EU countries steady as trade with non-EU states rose by £0.3 billion.
On a quarterly basis, the deficit on trade in goods widened by £0.6 billion to £20.5 billion, with exports and imports down 14.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively.
"The latest estimate of the trend suggests that the whole world goods deficit is fairly flat. The trends in the value of trade show both exports and imports are fairly flat in recent months," an ONS spokesperson said.
As to the destination and origin of exports and imports, trade with France fell £2.6 billion in both respects, with Norway and Russia the only countries where the value of imports rose.
September's trade in services surplus of £2.5 billion gave a quarterly total of £7.1 billion, a rise of £0.7 billion compared to the previous three months.
And finally, Britain's balance of trade in oil resulted in a £0.5 billion deficit, compared to £0.7 billion in August.