Darlington firm on the up following export support from DIT

A Darlington-based insect repellent manufacturer has significantly increased sales on the back of a robust exporting strategy with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).


Chemian Technology has grown between 20 and 30 per cent per annum over the past five years after successfully targeting a range of European and South East Asian countries.

The company’s main export is Citrepel®, a highly effective insect repellent produced from natural essential oils.

Ian Dell, Managing Director, Chemian Technology, said: “Exporting has always been of fundamental importance to Chemian Technology since I founded the business in 1996. Most of our turnover currently comes from overseas sales and we now sell to more than 30 countries worldwide.

“DIT has specifically supported us when we’ve entered new markets, and the advisers have been able to give us tailored support around our niche sector. For example, they have helped us overcome language barriers by introducing us to translators and interpreters with strong scientific and technical credentials.”

The Darlington firm’s news comes off the back of new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which suggest demand for British goods and services around the world has risen by 11.3% in the first full year since the EU referendum

Figures on the import and export of goods show that trade with non-EU countries grew by 11.6% – faster than with the EU at 10.9%.

Exports from UK companies in 2017 rose to £617bn, with the UK’s renowned service sector continuing to thrive, driving service exports up 8.7% to £274bn.

Goods exports also rose strongly by 13.4% to £342bn. Best sellers including cars and mechanical and electrical machinery are going to market in countries such as the USA, China, and Germany.

Exports continue to grow faster than imports, narrowing the trade deficit by £7bn in the last year.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: “In the first full year after the EU referendum, demand for British goods and services is higher than ever with exports rising by £62.5bn and the trade deficit narrowing.

“As I meet my counterparts across the world, one thing always stands out: the UK’s reputation for producing trusted, high quality products.

“These new figures are a testament to the hard work of companies up and down the country. As an international economic department, we will continue to build on this success by helping more firms export through our Exporting is GREAT campaign and global network of more than 1700 trade advisers.”

In a further boost, ONS statistics also released last week show manufacturing output reached its highest level since February 2008.

The figures were welcomed by leading industry bodies, demonstrating how Britain’s trading presence has grown as the country gets ready to leave the EU and forge our own free trade agreements.

Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said: “One of the UK’s key objectives over the coming years must be to raise our game on international trade. We have to get more companies selling abroad, increase volumes from current exporters, strengthen links with existing trade partners, and forge new ones in markets where our reach is currently limited.

“We have great companies, some world-leading industries and huge potential. The trade narrowed shrank between 2016 and 2017, and IoD member exports are up, but there are still significant challenges ahead, so it is imperative that the Department for International Trade and businesses work together to deliver a step-change in our trade performance.”

The country also remains a strong destination for investment with a record number of foreign direct investment projects into the UK in 2016/17. The Department for International Trade (DIT) recorded 2,265 projects – up 2% on the previous year – estimated to have created or safeguarded more than 107,000 jobs.

DIT continues to support businesses in making the most of their exporting potential and increasing overall trade and investment.

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