There was a 4% drop in exports last month according to preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Seasonally adjusted exports were just above €7.05 billion in May, according to the figures, €314 million lower than the previous month.

The main driver behind this was a €579 million decrease in medical and pharmaceutical product exports and a €132 million fall in the export of petroleum and petroleum-related products.

Meanwhile seasonally-adjusted imports fell 2% to €3.98 billion, €69 million lower than in April.

This was driven primarily by a €274 million fall in the “other transport equipment” category.

This left the seasonally-adjusted surplus at €3.07 billion - €245 million lower than in April.

More than half of the exports made in May were to European Union countries, with Britain making up 13.4% of the total amount.

The US accounted for 19% of exports in the month, making it the largest non-EU destination.

Meanwhile 65% of imports in May were from EU countries; Britain accounted for almost one-third of the month’s total. 10% of imports for the month came from the US, while 6% came from China.