The value of Irish exports to Great Britain decreased by €134 million, or 10%, to €1,182 million in May 2018 compared with May 2017.
The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed that this was largely due to a decrease in exports of chemicals and related products with a smaller decrease in exports of machinery and transport equipment.
For the first five months of 2018, from January to May, fell to €5,527 million, a decrease of 8% when compared to the same period in 2017.
Imports from Great Britain decreased by 6% to €1,522 million compared with May 2017, mainly due to the decrease in the imports of chemicals and related products, with an increase in the imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and a smaller increase in imports of machinery and transport equipment.
Imports from Great Britain for the period January to May 2018 were €7,258 million, an increase of 3% when compared to the same period in 2017.
Beyond the UK
Despite potential signs that Brexit is already having its negative impact on Irish trade, seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by 5% to €11.6 million in May 2018, according to preliminary figures.
Imports fell by 5% to €6.4 million, resulting in a trade surplus of €5,226 million in May, 20% higher than the previous month, highlighting a positive trend of a trading system not reliant on the UK.
Total exports for the first five months of the year was valued at €56.2 million, a 7% increase on the same period last year.
The EU accounted for €5.6 million, or 48%, of total goods exports in May 2018, of which €1.3 million went to Belgium.
The US was the number one non-EU destination for trade, accounting for 27% of Ireland’s total exports, worth €3.2 million.
Most surprisingly, China, as one of Ireland’s biggest exporters of late, saw a substantial decrease in exports over the first five months of the year. Exports to the Chinese market fell by 21.5%, and imports for the same period rose by just under 11.5%.
Enterprise Ireland recently announced that it helped its clients recorded export sales of €22.71 billion last year, a 7% increase on the previous year, as it worked to help start-up companies fight off the early effects of Brexit.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.