Ireland’s trade surplus drops 20% as cost of imports rise

CSO trade figures shows value of Irish imports jumps 18% to €6.15bn in November

“The underlying trend remains largely unaffected by Brexit, with the value of goods exports for the year to November up 5 per cent.” Photographer: Dara MacDonaill

“The underlying trend remains largely unaffected by Brexit, with the value of goods exports for the year to November up 5 per cent.” Photographer: Dara MacDonaill

 

The value of Irish imports jumped by 18 per cent to €6.15 billion in November amid worries that the current weakness in sterling could be inflating the cost of British-manufactured goods.

The latest trade figures from the Central Statistics Office also reveal that the value of exports fell by 1 per cent, to €10.2 billion, in November. This led to a decrease of €995 million, or 20 per cent, in the State’s seasonally adjusted trade surplus, which was put at €4 billion.

However, the underlying trend remains largely unaffected by Brexit, with the value of goods exports for the year to November up 5 per cent, to €108 billion, and the value of imports up 1 per cent at €64 billion.

The figures show that exports of medical and pharmaceutical goods increased €739 million, or 28 per cent, to €3.4 billion in November, compared with the same month last year. Exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by €424 million, or 152 per cent, to €703 million.

EU at 50%

The EU accounted for €5.4 billion – 50 per cent – of total goods exports in November, of which €1.6 billion went to Britain and €1.3 billion to Belgium.

Antwerp is one of the largest global drug redistribution hubs and receives most of the State’s pharma exports that are not destined for the US.

The US was the main non-EU destination, accounting for €2.9 billion (26 per cent) of total exports during the month.

On a monthly basis, imports of road vehicles decreased by €65 million, or 15 per cent, to €367 million, in November. Imports of medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €428 million, or 82 per cent, to €952 million.