HomeBussinessGoods exports rise in first months of 2024

Goods exports rise in first months of 2024


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Unadjusted goods exports were €53.2m in the first quarter of 2024, a rise of €2.3bn from the same time last year.

Exports in March were 1pc lower than the same month in 2023, the data showed. Seasonally adjusted exports of goods were €17.6bn, unchanged from February.

Exports of medical and pharmaceutical products were down in March but still held a 38pc share of total exports across the month.

Pharma exports were €6.9bn, a decrease of 4pc from the same month in the prior year.

Organic chemicals exports rose 1pc to €3.4bn in the same period, the CSO found.

Meanwhile, exports of scientific apparatus fell by 3pc to €938m.

The CSO reported that exports to Britain were €1.7bn in March, accounting for 9pc of total exports.

Chemicals held the largest share of exports to this market, followed by food and live animals.

Exports to the European Union were €6.9bn, with the region representing 37pc of total goods exports. Around €1,9bn went to Germany, with a further €1.8bn going to Belgium.

The newly published data from the CSO also showed that exports to the United States were around €5.2bn or around 28pc of the total.

“In the face of economic difficulties and new trade barriers, Irish exports have not only persisted but also increased,” said Carol Lynch, a partner in the customs and international trade department at consultants BDO.

“The March report highlights a strong performance in the agri-food and chemical industries, with increased exports to the UK, US, and China, marking a positive development in the global economy,” she added.

Grant Thornton tax director Janette Maxwell noted the introduction of physical, documentary and identity checks for exports headed to the UK from the end of last month.

“Exports from Ireland to Great Britain rose by 3pc to €4.4 billion in Q1 2024 when compared with Q1 2023,” she said. “Although the increase is relatively small, this figure should be monitored over the coming months as further UK customs controls are introduced.”

The value of goods imports dropped €3.3bn in the first three months of the year compared to the corresponding period a year earlier.

Unadjusted goods imports stood at €31.2bn in the quarter.

Seasonally adjusted goods imports for March were €11.1bn, 2pc lower than the same month in 2023.

Imports of organic chemicals plunged 41pc, while imports of mineral fuels dropped 26pc.

Imports from Britain represented 13pc of the total and were €1.5bn in March.

“The sustained declined is an indicator that Irish importers are reacting to the challenges of Brexit by sourcing goods from alternative markets,” Ms Maxwell said.

“This adaptability will continue to be put to the test for the remainder of 2024 as politics will likely have a further impact on the trading dynamic between Ireland and Great Britain,” she added.

Overall, Ireland’s seasonally adjusted trade surplus was €6.5bn for the month, down 8pc from February.

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