Export value falls while imports rise in March - CSO

Wednesday 14 May 2014 11.40
Import value rose during March, compared to last year, while exports fell
Import value rose during March, compared to last year, while exports fell

The value of exports in March fell 6% to €7.56bn when compared to the same month of 2013, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The fall was primarily driven by a €339m decrease in the value of organic chemical exports, and a €196m decrease in the value of medical and pharmaceutical exports.

This was countered slightly by a €58m rise in the value of food and animal exports, as well as a €42m increase in the export value of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.

At the same time the value of imports rose year-on-year, up 16% on March 2013 to more than €4.8bn.

Half of this rise was due to an increase in organic chemical imports, while there was a €258m rise in the import value of machinery and transport equipment.

These two factors combined led to a significant narrowing in the trade surplus during March, which shrunk nearly 25% to €2.75bn.

The United States was the biggest importer of Irish goods during March, accounting for more than 24% of the total amount.

Britain was the second biggest customer, accounting for 14.6% of all exports, while Belgium was third with a 13.3% share.

Meanwhile, a quarter of all imports to Ireland came from Britain, with imports from the US and Switzerland coming a distant second and third, respectively.