China has overtaken Germany to become the UK's biggest import market, according the UK Office for National Statistics.
During the first quarter of this year, goods imported from China rose 65.6 percent from the start of 2018 to 16.9 billion pounds ($24 billion), accounting for 16.1 percent of the total.
In comparison, the proportion of UK total imports from Germany decreased by 2.6 percentage points to 11.8 percent compared with the first quarter of 2018.
The UK has imported more goods from China than from any other country since the second quarter of 2020, the office said on its website.
Goods imports from China have continued to show an upward trend throughout 2020, the office said, adding it was driven by telecommunications and sound equipment, textiles and clothing.
UK imports of textile fabrics from China also jumped last year, boosted by demand for face masks and personal protective equipment.
Of the UK’s top five import partners, China is the only one in which imports grew between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2021,the office added.