New Central Statistics Office figures show that seasonally adjusted exports decreased by 5% to stand at €10.373 billion in March of this year. 

Today's CSO figures also reveal that seasonally adjusted imports decreased by 9% to €6.344 billion.

This resulted in a slight increase of 2% in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to bring it to €4.029 billion in March compared to the same time last year.

The CSO said that exports to the UK fell by 5% to €1.117 billion, mainly due to a decrease in machinery and transport equipment with a smaller decrease in minerals fuels, lubricants and related materials. 

A small increase in the exports of food and live animals was also recorded in March.

Meanwhile, imports from the UK were up 5% to €1.545 billion with the increase almost entirely related to the increase in imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.

Today's CSO figures show that the EU accounted for 52% of total goods exports in March, but total EU exports in March decreased by 2% compared with March last year. 

The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for 28% of total exports during the month. 

Meanwhile, the EU also accounted for 64% of total goods imports in March 2018, an increase of 2% on March 2017. 

The USA with 13% and China with 7% were the main non-EU sources of imports. 

The CSO noted that exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances slumped by 55% to €426m in March of this year compared to the same time last year, while exports of other transport equipment, including aircraft decreased by 76% to €218m.

It also said that mineral fuels imports increased by 13% to €463m in March of this year with the bulk of this rise due to gas imports, which reflected the very cold weather experienced in March.
 
Meanwhile, imports of other transport equipment, including aircraft decreased by 16% to €1.496 billion, while imports of medical and pharmaceutical products rose by 61% to €961m.