The gap between imports and exports of goods narrowed in October, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS said the goods trade deficit narrowed to £9.7bn, compared with £10.1bn in September.
Including services, in which the UK traditionally has a surplus, the overall trade deficit was unchanged from September at £2.6bn.
Separate ONS data brought positive news from the manufacturing sector.
The ONS said the UK Index of production, one of the key components of gross domestic product, grew by 0.4% in the month, in line with forecasts. Compared with October 2012 it was up 3.2%.
The manufacturing of transport equipment was the biggest force behind the increase.
The rise marks a slowdown from the 0.9% rise in September when production bounced back from a weak August, the ONS said.
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