New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose by 12.6% to €3.923 million in July.

The preliminary figures for July show that on a seasonally adjusted basis, exports rose by €452m to reach a total of €7.926 billion in July.

This is a 6% increase on the June figure.

The CSO also noted a €14m (0.4%) decrease in seasonally adjusted imports to bring their total to €4.003 billion.

Today's figures revealed that chemicals and related products accounted for 62% of the total exports in July. Exports of chemicals and related products rose by 15% in July compared to the same month last year.

The EU accounted for 57% of total exports in July, with the UK and Belgium accounting for 30% of total exports, the CSO said. The USA was the next biggest market for Irish exports and accounted for 23% of exports.

Comparing July of this year with July of last year, imports increased by 8%, due to increases in the imports of machinery and plant equipment, chemicals and related products and food and live animals.

Over 60% of imports in July came from the EU, with the UK accounting for over half of these imports. The US and China were the main non-EU source of imports in July.

The CSO said that on an unadjusted basis, exports amounted to €54.27 billion in the first seven months of the year, while imports came to €28.76 billion. This resulted in a trade surplus of €25.5 billion.