New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that preliminary seasonally adjusted exports fell by 4% to €7.639 billion in June from May.

Seasonally adjusted imports decreased by 7% to €4.280 billion over the same time.

The CSO said that the seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose by €21m (1%) to €3.359 billion in June from the month before.

On an annual basis, the value of exports in June grew by 6% to €7.780 billion on the back of a 54% increase in the export of organic chemicals , a 27% rise in professional, scientific and controlling apparatus and a 7% rise in food and live animals.

The European Union accounted for 49% of total exports in June, while the US was the main non-EU destination for Irish goods and services.

Meanwhile, the value of imports increased by 4% to €4.202 billion in June, with imports of organic chemicals soaring by 70%.

Today's data shows that the EU accounted for 63% of the value of imports during the month, with 31% coming from the UK. The US and China were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Commenting on today's figures, Investec economist Philip O'Sullivan said the outlook for exports is underpinned by improving conditions in key trading partners and favourable currency movements, along with the recovery in the pharmaceutical industries based here. 

"As the recovery gathers momentum we expect to see further upward moves in imports. For 2014 as a whole we see exports rising by 40% year on yearly, while imports are expected to grow by 3.5% year on year," he added.