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06 Jul 2022

'Truly remarkable' - Ireland records highest-ever trade figures

'Truly remarkable' - Ireland records highest-ever trade figures

'Truly remarkable' - Ireland records highest-ever trade figures

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, has welcomed the latest Goods Exports and Imports release from the Central Statistics Office, with preliminary figures showing that the value of Ireland’s goods exports and imports rose to their highest monthly levels on record.

The value of goods exports in March 2022 was €20.2bn, an increase of €5.5 bn (+37%) when compared with March 2021 and the highest value of monthly exports on record. The largest category of goods exports was Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products which increased by 63% to €9.2bn in March 2022 compared with March 2021 and represented 46% of total exports.  

Globally there is a strong demand for medicinal products, with companies in the medical and pharma sector manufacturing a wide portfolio of highly innovation products with a diverse portfolio of high demand products.

There were also strong increases in exports of Organic chemicals (+29%), exports of Food and live animals increased (+16%) and exports of Electrical machinery, apparatus, appliances and parts increased (+22%) compared to March 2021.

Commenting on today’s figures, the Tánaiste said: “These figures are truly remarkable, they show that our trade levels reached the highest ever level in March of this year, despite immense global challenges and uncertainty.  It was the best month on record.

“Trade significantly increased in every market on previous year’s figures. Ireland owes it’s relative prosperity to trade. Our jobs and living standards depend on our performance and the revenues collected fund our schools and hospitals. 

“The figures are a testament to the strength of so many businesses and their workers around the country. The Government will continue to encourage companies to diversify and identify new markets and continue to break new records in the months ahead.”

The March Goods Exports and Imports statistics were also welcomed by Mr Robert Troy, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation who commented:

“March 2022 has seen our exports reach a historically high monthly level. This is a reflection of the resilience of our exporters in reacting to global trading challenges. The Government continues to work closely with our enterprise agencies to support exporters in adapting to challenges and in identifying new markets for trade.”

The US continues to be Ireland’s biggest single goods export market, accounting for €7.3bn (37%) of total exports in March 2022. This is an increase of €2.8bn (+62%) on the March 2021 value.

The EU accounted for €7bn (35%) of total exports in March 2022, of which €2.5bn went to Germany and €1.2bn went to Belgium. Total EU exports in March 2022 increased by €1.3bn million (+24%) compared with March 2021.

Exports to non-EU countries (excluding the UK) in March 2022 were valued at €11.3bn, which is an increase of €3.8bn (+51%) on the March 2021 level of exports.

Exports to Great Britain in March 2022 were €1.4bn, which is an increase of €160 million (+13%) compared with March 2021.  The main change was an increase in the exports of Chemicals and related products and Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.  Exports to Great Britain accounted for 7% of total exports in March 2022.

Exports to Northern Ireland were €410 million in March 2022, an increase of €100 million (+32%) on March 2021.

The value of goods imports in March was €11bn, an increase of €1.8bn (+20%) when compared with March 2021 and the highest value of monthly exports on record. The largest increases in imports were seen in imports of Mineral fuels, lubricants and related products (+112%),  Organic chemicals (+177%)  and Machinery specialised for particular industries (+128%) compared to March 2021.

The EU accounted for €3bn (27%) of total goods imports in March 2022, a decrease of €197 million (-6%) compared with March 2021.

Imports from Great Britain increased by €540 million (39%) to €1,909 million compared with March 2021. The main increases were in the imports of Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and Chemicals and related products.

Our main non-EU sources of imports were the UK (21%), the USA (14%), China (11%) and Switzerland (9%).

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