Irish exports to UK increase in July but down so far this year

EU exports increasingly important, now accounting for 51% of total exports

Irish exports to the UK increased by 5 per cent in July compared to the same month last year but exports for the first seven months of the year have dropped compared to 2017.

The Republic exported €1.16 billion worth of goods in July, higher as a result of an increase in exports of mineral fuels and lubricants, figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

In the same month, imports from the UK increased by €97 million, up by 7 per cent, to €1.4 billion. Although exports to the UK have dropped in the first seven months, imports were up by 4 per cent at over €10.1 billion by the end of July.

Overall, seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by 0.4 per cent to €11.85 billion in July while imports dipped 2 per cent to €7.8 billion. That resulted in a 6 per cent increase in the Republic’s trade surplus to €3.97 billion.


The EU accounted for 51 per cent of total exports in July, of which €1.44 billion went to Belgium and €725 million went to Germany while exports to the EU increased by 15 per cent compared with July 2017.

Imports from the EU amounted to €4.8 billion, or 63 per cent of total imports, an increase of 43 per cent compared to the same month last year.

The main non-EU export destination was the US, to which we exported more than €3 billion worth of goods.

“In terms of the outlook for exports for 2018 as a whole, available external demand indicators point to sustained growth in the near-term,” said Merrion economist Alan McQuaid.

“But, while external demand growth seems set to remain robust in the near-term, the implementation of higher trade tariffs and the possibility of more protectionist measures represent a key risk to the overall prospects for the export sector going forward. On top of that, there still appears to be a strong chance of a ‘hard Brexit’. Therefore, taking all factors into account, trade risks are tilted to the downside,” he added.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business