Ireland’s trade surplus rose to €3.6bn in September

Latest CSO numbers point to another strong year, with value of export trade up 2%

The driving force behind Irish exports was once again medical and pharmaceutical products

The driving force behind Irish exports was once again medical and pharmaceutical products

 

The value of Irish exports rose 1 per cent to €9.3 billion in September, while imports fell 3 per cent to €5.7 billion.

This resulted in a trade surplus for the month of €3.6 billion, up €292 million or 9 per cent on the previous month.

Nonetheless, the latest trade numbers from the Central Statistics Office point to another positive year for Irish exports, with the value of the State’s export trade for the eight-month period between January and September put at €90 billion, up 2 per cent on the corresponding period last year.

The driving force behind Irish exports was once again medical and pharmaceutical products, which rose by €332 million (+13 per cent) to €2.8 billion in September. Exports of organic chemicals, however, decreased €546 million (-29 per cent) to €1.3 billion.

The EU accounted for €5 billion or 52 per cent of Ireland’s exports in September, with Belgium accounting for the largest single share.

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

The US was the main non-EU destination, accounting for 30 per cent or €2.8 billion of total exports in September.

The CSO numbers showed imports of medical and pharmaceutical products increased €147 million (+32 per cent) to €609 million in September while imports of food and live animals increased €58 million (+11 per cent ) to €599 million.

The UK’s looming departure from the EU poses a serious challenge to Britain and Ireland’s trading relations.

While the UK government has signalled it will leave the EU’s customs union in 2019, it has proposed a continued close association for a time-limited period to minimise disruption and allow a smooth and orderly transition to the new arrangements.

“The trade outlook going forward remains clouded in uncertainty, but we are still anticipating another solid performance this year,” Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said.