The value of goods exported from Ireland rose by 31% in the first half of the year as the recovery from the pandemic gathered pace, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. In total, goods worth €105bn were exported, up by €24bn on the same six-month period last year, marking a record first half performance.
On an unadjusted basis, goods exports were 19% higher in June versus a year earlier. But when seasonally adjusted, exports actually fell by 9% during the month to €16.5bn compared to May. The biggest recorded increase in exports was seen in the medical and pharmaceutical products sector, where there was 14% growth in the month, worth €788m.
Also growing strongly was the professional, scientific and controlling apparatus sector, which recorded a 51% increase to €909m. Meanwhile, the value of goods imported into Ireland rose by 36% to €66.7bn during the first half of the year, when compared to the first six months of 2021.
On an unadjusted basis the value of goods imports was 28% higher at €12.7bn in the month of June when compared with the same month last year. However, on a seasonally adjusted basis the value of imports in June actually fell by almost €1bn to €11.6bn compared to the month before.
The rising cost of energy related products had a big influence on the value of imports in both the month of June and the first half of the year. In June alone, the value of imports of organic chemicals was up 46% or €757m on a year-on-year basis, while imports of mineral fuels and lubricants jumped 108% in value to just over €1bn.
Over the first six months of 2022, the value of fuels and lubricant imports is up 157%, versus the same period last year. Imports from Great Britain were nearly €2.2 billion in June 2022, up 54% on the same month in 2021, with mineral fuels, lubricants and chemicals all driving the rise.
During the first half of the year, imports from Great Britain jumped by 72%, compared with the same period of 2021. Exports to Great Britain in June were worth €1.9bn, up 38% in comparison to June of last year, while over the first six months of the year they were up 33%.
“As the value of Ireland’s exports and imports rise, businesses in Ireland are demonstrating they can overcome barriers and adapt to doing business in new market trading conditions and flourish in a Brexit environment,” said Carol Lynch, Partner in the BDO Customs and International Trade Services.
“However, it’s important to consider that inflation has accounted for a significant proportion of the increase of value of goods imported from the UK, specifically ‘chemicals and related products’ and ‘mineral fuels, lubricant and related materials’.”
“The value of mineral fuel imports from the UK has increased from €259 million in June 2021 to €488 million in June 2022 which may also reflect concerning price increases for fuel which we mostly source from the UK.”
The value of imports from Northern Ireland between January and June increased by 21% to €2.4bn when compared with the same time period of 2021. While exports to Northern Ireland for the same six months rose 38% to €2.4bn.
“The June figures continue to show trade between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is rising, suggesting that businesses on both sides of the border continue to reap the benefits of the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed as part of the UK withdrawal from the EU,” said Carol Lynch. The EU accounted for 35% of total goods exports in June of which €1.6bn went to Germany.
The USA was the main non-EU destination for Irish goods exports, accounting for 29% of the June total.