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CSO figures

Jarlath O'Keefe comment on the August 2021 CSO Import/Export figures

Jarlath O'Keefe Jarlath O'Keefe

The August CSO figures have shown that the value of exports from Ireland increased by €660 million compared to July 2021 and increased by €160 million when compared to August 2020. Imports have grown by a staggering €1.2 billion in August 2021 compared to August 2020.

Great Britain remains an important player in Ireland's export market and this is evidenced by the fact that exports to Great Britain increased by €1.6 billion in the first eight months of 2021 ( 21%). However, the previous over-reliance on the British market is no longer the case, given that exports to Great Britain accounted for 7% of overall exports from Ireland. This demonstrates that the Irish market is continually sourcing new markets for its products. Irish exports to the EU and US represent 37% and 32% respectively of total exports in the year to date.

In contrast, imports from Great Britain in August 2021 decreased by €257 million (-21%) to €945 million compared with August 2020. The largest decreases were in the imports of food and live animals, chemicals and related products and machinery and equipment. Imports from Great Britain were 13% of the value of total imports in August 2021.

The value of goods imported from Great Britain for January to August 2021 was €7,272 million, a decrease of €3,179 million (-30%) compared with January to August 2020. 

The August CSO figures for the import and export of goods have confirmed that there has been a significant increase in cross border trade on the island of Ireland in 2021 following Brexit. This is due in part to businesses adjusting their supply chains to avoid the administrative burden associated with importing goods from Great Britain. Trade within the island of Ireland has continued to grow with imports from Northern Ireland up by 61% ( €950 million) to €2.5 billion in the first eight months of 2021 when compared to the same period for 2020. Exports to Northern Ireland have grown by 47% (€707 million) for the same period. The increase in all Ireland trade has proved to be a contentious issue with the British government and It will be interesting to see if, after the relaxing of checks at NI ports, the trend of increased all Island trade continues.

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