The October CSO figures have shown that the value of exports from Ireland increased by €2.5 billion (21%) in October 2021 compared to October 2020. The export of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal products amounts to 46% of total exports which highlights the strength and importance of that sector to the Irish economy. In terms of geographical breakdown 38% of exports went to the US, 34% to the EU, 7% to Britain, 2% to NI and 19% to the rest of the world.
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 €1,054 million (4%) in October 2021 compared to October 2020. The value of exports to Great Britain amounted to 7% of total exports in October 2021. The total value of exports to Great Britain has increased by 21% in the first ten months in 2021. 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 which demonstrates that the Irish market is continually sourcing new markets for its products. Imports from Great Britain have decreased by 21% in the first ten months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. There were significant decreases in the import of chemicals, food and live animals, and machinery and equipment, potentially due to increased paperwork and checks associated with Brexit.
The October 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 Britain. Trade within the island of Ireland has continued to grow with imports from Northern Ireland up by 63% (€1,263 million) in the first ten months of 2021 when compared to the same period for 2020. Exports to Northern Ireland have grown by 46% (€922 million) for the same period.