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For more information on this release:
E-mail: Trade@cso.ie Ciarán Counihan +353 1 4984215 Damian Malone +353 1 4984206
For general information on CSO statistics:
information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit StatCentral.ie, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-5155
CSO statistical release, 15 February 2016, 11am

Goods Exports and Imports

December 2015

€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
Jan-Dec 201492,61660,86631,750
Jan-Dec 2015111,03867,02344,015
% change+19.9%+10.1%+38.6%
Seasonally adjusted
October 201510,2875,8204,467
November 20159,2125,8883,324
December 20159,8685,8993,970

Record trade surplus in 2015

Goods Exports and Imports
go to full release

 

  • Preliminary figures for 2015 show that exports totalled €111,038 million for the year.  This represents an increase of €18,422 million (+20%) over 2014.

  • The preliminary trade surplus for 2015 was €44,015 million, which is the largest surplus on record.

  • Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products accounted for €30,174 million (27%) of total exports in 2015, an increase of €7,945 million (+36%) over 2014.

  • Exports of Food and live animals and Beverages and tobacco to the USA totalled €758 million in 2015, an increase of €255 million (+51%) compared with 2014 (see Table 5).

 

NOTE on revised data: This release includes significant revisions to International Trade in Goods statistics.  While the most significant revision is due to recording trade in aircraft on a "transfer of economic ownership" basis, other revisions have been incorporated into the Trade data back to 2000. The technical note (http://www.cso.ie/en/surveysandmethodology/externaltrade/) gives more detail on the revised trade in aircraft methodology and explains the impact the revisions will have on Trade in Goods, National Accounts and Balance of Payments. 
Exports
Total Exports 20
Food and live animals5
Chemicals and related products23
Machinery and transport equipment28
Miscellaneous manufactured articles13

Imports reach €67 billion in 2015

  • Imports in 2015 grew to €67,023 million, an increase of €6,158 million (+10%) over 2014.
  • Imports of Chemicals and related products accounted for €13,925 million (21%) of total imports in 2015, an increase of €2,482 million (+22%) compared with 2014.
  • Imports of Road vehicles in 2015 were €3,439 million, an increase of €859 million (+33%) over 2014, which is also an increase of €1,561 million (+83%) over 2013.
  • Imports of Machinery and transport equipment from the USA fell by €498 million (-10%) in 2015 compared with 2014, while imports of these products from China increased by €567 million (+34%) over the same period (see Table 5).
Imports
Total Imports10
Food and live animals8
Mineral fuels-21
Chemicals and related products22
Machinery and transport equipment12
Miscellaneous manufactured articles18

Seasonally adjusted goods trade surplus increases in December

  • Preliminary figures for December 2015 show that seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by €656 million (+7%) to €9,868 million compared with November 2015.
  • Seasonally adjusted goods imports increased by €11 million to €5,899 million leading to an increase of €646 million (+19%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €3,970 million in December (see Table 2).

 Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increase in December

  • The (unadjusted) value of goods exports for December 2015 was €8,709 million, an increase of €485 million (+6%) when compared with December 2014.
  • Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €557 million (+27%) to €2,649 million.
  • Exports of Organic chemicals decreased by €216 million (-16%) to €1,162 million.
  • Exports of Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus increased by €87 million (+20%) to €520 million over the same comparative period (see Table 3).

 Imports of Road vehicles increase

  • The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for December 2015 was €6,026 million representing an increase of €472 million (+8%) when compared with December 2014.
  • Imports of Road vehicles increased by €97 million (+28%) to €441 million in December 2015 compared with December 2014. 

  • Imports of Organic chemicals increased by €325 million (+169%) to €517 million.
  • Imports of Petroleum fell by €25 million (-10%) to €232 million over the same comparative period (see Table 3). 

  • The value of goods imports for December 2015 excluding SITC 79 (Other transport equipment, including aircraft) was €5,389 million, an increase of €820 million (+18%) when compared with the corresponding December 2014 figure of €4,569 million.

 Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports

  • The EU accounted for €4,331 million (50%) of total goods exports in December 2015 of which €1,176 million went to Great Britain and €984 million to Belgium.
  • The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €1,991 million (23%) of total exports in December 2015.
  • The EU accounted for 64% of the value of goods imports in December 2015, with €1,587 million (26%) of total imports coming from Great Britain.
  • The USA with €625 million (10%) and China with €383 million (6%) were the main non-EU sources of imports.  
This map is © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.
This map is © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.
Table 1 Goods Exports and Imports summary analysis    
PeriodValue1Volume index2Unit value index2 
ExportsImportsTrade surplusBase year 1990=100
€m€m€mExportsImportsExportsImportsTerms of trade3
1990 18,20415,8322,372100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
1991 19,07016,3172,753105.6100.899.3102.397.0
1992 21,26016,7544,506121.1105.696.6100.296.4
1993 25,17918,9006,279133.4113.0103.9105.498.6
1994 28,89121,9456,946153.2127.9103.8108.196.0
1995 35,33026,1819,149184.0146.3105.7112.793.7
1996 38,60928,47910,130202.2160.9105.1111.494.3
1997 44,86832,86312,004232.4184.8106.3112.094.9
1998 57,32239,71517,607289.2218.3109.1114.695.2
1999 66,95644,32722,629336.5236.5109.5118.092.8
200083,98654,96029,026401.4275.2115.0128.089.9
2001 92,73056,45536,275422.0274.2120.9131.891.7
2002 94,05955,10638,953435.1276.6118.5126.793.5
2003 82,58548,51534,070418.4259.7108.0116.193.0
2004 84,94951,55733,392446.5283.6104.0113.591.7
2005 87,17358,46328,710456.7316.3104.5114.491.3
2006 87,49763,83323,664457.6323.9104.4117.788.7
2007 90,58065,93924,640481.8340.9101.9117.386.9
2008 88,50359,33629,168484.5300.598.0119.781.9
2009 87,58648,20339,382468.4249.298.9113.986.8
2010 90,92448,69542,229485.5241.3101.2119.284.9
2011 93,19153,03540,155507.9240.899.7126.478.8
2012 93,50755,06138,446479.1231.9105.8133.779.2
201389,18254,77234,409460.6238.8103.9131.678.9
201492,61660,86631,750..........
2015111,03867,02344,015..........
         
2014Quarter 121,76514,9136,852454.3253.2103.1133.577.2
 Quarter 223,55914,4319,128491.0247.7102.3132.976.9
 Quarter 323,27115,0328,239467.4246.6104.7133.078.7
 Quarter 424,02116,4897,531474.3273.9106.3131.680.8
2015Quarter 126,08016,4809,600..........
 Quarter 228,69216,54412,148..........
 Quarter 327,48316,09911,384..........
 Quarter 428,78217,89910,883..........
         
2014January7,0855,0632,022447.6259.4102.7132.377.6
 February6,9594,4932,466427.8228.5104.9134.977.7
 March7,7205,3562,364487.5271.8101.6133.376.2
 April7,3224,7482,573461.9244.5100.9132.876.0
 May8,1584,8543,305504.7254.1103.6133.777.5
 June8,0804,8293,250506.4244.5102.3132.377.3
 July7,2525,1492,102440.2251.9103.1132.178.0
 August7,7734,6783,095467.9233.8104.9132.978.9
 September8,2475,2053,042494.2254.1106.0134.079.1
 October7,9325,4692,464477.2272.0105.4131.880.0
 November7,8645,4672,397465.0284.1106.8130.581.8
 December8,2245,5542,670480.7265.7106.6132.580.5
  
20154January8,2905,2403,050..........
 February8,3485,0083,340..........
 March9,4436,2323,210..........
 April9,6145,5094,105..........
 May9,1675,3923,775..........
 June9,9125,6434,268..........
 July9,6555,6663,989..........
 August8,6215,1273,495..........
 September9,2075,3063,900..........
 October10,2245,9004,324..........
 November9,8495,9733,876..........
 December8,7096,0262,683..........
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000, see background notes.     
2 Monthly data have been rescaled to make their average equal to the annual.   
3 Export unit value index divided by Import unit value index.
4 Revised. December 2015 is based on current Intrastat response levels. See background notes.  
 .. Indices are not yet available.
Table 2 Goods Exports and Imports seasonally adjusted1 series  
PeriodValueVolume index
ExportsImportsTrade surplusBase year 1990=100
€m€m€mExportsImports
     
2013Quarter 121,73113,2568,475445.1227.4
 Quarter 222,02313,7338,290455.0235.5
 Quarter 322,93513,8449,090476.8243.1
 Quarter 422,66013,9998,661468.6250.2
2014Quarter 121,80714,1497,658453.5242.3
Quarter 223,18314,5198,665487.3248.6
Quarter 323,36915,9297,439469.0259.3
Quarter 424,62416,4548,171483.5273.7
2015Quarter 126,32115,69410,627....
 Quarter 228,44816,82511,622....
 Quarter 327,21916,95810,261....
 Quarter 429,36717,60711,760....
      
2013January6,9774,3792,598426.0238.4
 February7,1704,5102,660446.7224.7
March7,5844,3673,217462.6219.2
April7,5314,5193,012460.2232.3
May7,2464,5002,746448.7231.9
June7,2464,7142,532456.1242.2
July7,5684,5742,994472.7236.8
August7,8764,8343,042488.7257.0
September7,4904,4363,054469.0235.5
October7,5014,6502,851467.1244.7
November7,2334,7892,443445.4258.7
December7,9274,5603,367493.2247.2
2014January7,2734,6062,667462.3239.5
 February7,4154,4942,921450.8231.6
 March7,1195,0492,070447.3255.9
 April7,0804,4612,619452.4232.5
 May8,1715,1393,032505.8263.0
 June7,9324,9183,014503.7250.2
 July6,9515,4661,485424.0265.2
 August8,3885,2533,135505.7258.7
 September8,0305,2112,819477.4254.0
 October7,8735,3942,479465.6264.9
 November7,4085,6771,731441.5297.3
 December9,3435,3823,961543.4258.9
 
2015January8,6414,8883,753....
 February8,9665,1833,783....
 March8,7145,6233,091....
 April9,7405,5494,190....
 May9,3635,7353,627....
 June9,3455,5413,805....
 July9,3095,9963,312....
 August9,1455,6343,511....
 September8,7665,3273,438....
 October10,2875,8204,467....
 November9,2125,8883,324....
 December9,8685,8993,970....
1 Based on seasonal patterns up to December 2014. Accordingly all values in this table may have been revised.
 .. Indices are not yet available.
Table 3 Goods Exports and Imports classified by commodity1 
 €million
SITC (Rev 4)ExportsImports
DecDecJan-DecJan-DecDecDecJan-DecJan-Dec
20142015201420152014201520142015
0Food and live animals8309149,3509,8535777086,1896,659
00Live animals other than animals of Division 03518840543677137259316
01Meat and meat preparations3453283,3313,4827888869958
02Dairy products and birds' eggs1371511,8351,7896153765695
03Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof50475315642322236259
04Cereals and cereal preparations293335039979999611,014
05Vegetables and fruit2125260287901011,0411,156
06Sugars, sugar preparations and honey8171071633030368374
07Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof25303543704049449543
08Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)24302392955883775779
09Miscellaneous edible products and preparations1411651,9362,0684246465564
1Beverages and tobacco1041181,1471,2897680837878
11Beverages 981141,0761,2427172749785
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures647247588792
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1461281,7951,7766172727852
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw1191621520000
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 11914222635
23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 0041021815
24Cork and wood881531531312127154
25Pulp and waste paper456160454960
26Textile fibres and their wastes911133143222119
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)107141132716114138
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap88701,0239891919204241
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes15171091321515167189
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials37398477953843376,4775,127
32Coal, coke and briquettes558198820166193
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials28327286412572324,9513,704
34Gas, natural and manufactured11196112821,2821,153
35Electric current411850637977
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes5662571620217241
41Animal oils and fats455249221415
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils01761317184198
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes0022221827
5Chemicals and related products4,2734,71651,56964,1579381,34611,44313,925
51Organic chemicals1,3781,16218,17121,4831925173,0263,776
52Inorganic chemicals861701532332207272
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials991171331316197223
54Medical and pharmaceutical products2,0922,64922,22930,1744174404,4985,695
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations5105786,9397,9941121241,1341,337
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)00353441415448
57Plastics in primary forms26283363985664822850
58Plastics in non-primary forms28344214993842513557
59Chemical materials and products nes2232513,1843,3185269632769
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1291491,8712,0913263554,2324,708
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins223535122023
62Rubber manufactures nes5569742022294318
63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)16162412411519201254
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof11131541506876832918
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products14141601753439408449
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes25283524153539432504
67Iron and steel9101381944049588640
68Non-ferrous metals5675734430555562
69Manufactures of metals nes435664773469789041,040
7Machinery and transport equipment1,4351,27812,10015,4892,4112,21822,28824,938
71Power generating machinery and equipment40564704774242602585
72Machinery specialised for particular industries44616716451951292,1682,357
73Metalworking machinery212626131995117
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes1341321,5441,7251241481,4091,636
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)5205793,8114,1983393693,0813,785
76Telecommunications and sound equipment98947889301661671,3941,584
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts2143052,0022,8912052652,1762,516
78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)18232593093444412,5803,439
79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)366272,5284,2879856378,7838,918
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1,0911,20312,62814,2546317406,8988,163
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings9131291541621194235
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc11141401713441372442
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers2117221416120147
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories27282583051441731,6431,870
85Footwear4537442735324405
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes4335205,2836,1261311331,5141,796
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks84811,0551,0902339253385
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes5215405,7106,3422422812,4792,883
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere109746075502229293286
Unclassified estimates265856417281121211,2641,246
   
Total8,2248,70992,616111,0385,5546,02660,86567,023
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 2015 is based on current Intrastat response levels. See background notes.
2 Estimates for which a commodity classification is not available.
Table 4 Goods Exports and Imports classified by country1
        €million
CountryExportsImports
DecDecJan-DecJan-DecDecDecJan-DecJan-Dec
20142015201420152014201520142015
Austria35273604161820217243
Belgium86698411,80514,5741091211,1331,277
Bulgaria786997673370
Croatia33293301518
Cyprus2519400023
Czech Republic50284814113946398512
Denmark52485946023729419439
Estonia111825224242
Finland32263173021010140168
France4463174,9524,8129557286,4987,072
Germany5795386,0817,4245045904,6195,827
Great Britain1,0771,17612,13713,7541,5011,58716,46116,746
Greece1311274295233546
Hungary 2224247321107124112
Italy 1691292,1132,54385879501,178
Latvia355558362935
Lithuania243736686886
Luxembourg1078166423939
Malta32243811814
Netherlands3694204,1434,8792392182,6542,622
Northern Ireland1371381,6051,73194921,1041,084
Poland81949631,1924353441536
Portugal29153544041315166205
Romania3720360346912101111
Slovakia575875564669
Slovenia4103746723523
Spain2112092,7883,75387104876960
Sweden125649028733343509472
EU Country not specified231033772433289483
Total EU4,3704,33150,93659,2213,8463,83437,44240,491
  of which Euro-Zone32,7742,71733,48039,7862,0431,92317,49019,909
         
Australia84447129259781101
Brazil17192562413112535468
Canada48677228911936373434
China42801802,2312,2823243833,4984,407
India26693995412644444504
Japan1577541,7713,8881621261,7631,821
Malaysia24202172411822230279
Mexico741091,2161,3942133313363
Norway242432030083749381,205
Russia2919722369139226160
Saudi Arabia8097748999011225
Singapore45595616072443350421
South Africa192027827014139294
South Korea43464665187843483559
Switzerland4752745,2556,095792661,2531,354
Taiwan11421461972644245368
Thailand11161682194943406572
Turkey27416285764651436496
USA1,9781,99120,76226,2335296258,8709,806
Other countries4014613,9794,9841192052,4112,361
Country unknown51241224540113464735
 
Total8,2248,70992,616111,0385,5546,02660,86567,023
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 2015 is based on current Intrastat response levels. See background notes.
2 Includes estimates for traders below the Intrastat threshold and transactions where the EU country was not specified.
3 Euro-zone members from January 2015: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Greece, Ireland,
  Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
4China includes Hong Kong and Macao.   
5 Trade for which the country of origin or country of final destination is unknown.
Table 5 Goods Exports and Imports classified by commodity and principal countries1
    €million
  ExportsImports
 Country by Section level of SITCDecDecJan-DecJan-DecDecDecJan-DecJan-Dec
20142015201420152014201520142015
Great Britain1,0771,17612,13713,7541,5011,58716,46116,746
0Food and live animals3544153,5613,9012733512,5512,824
1Beverages and tobacco20242572453031308305
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels28274123951113142167
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials29303984422962074,1753,143
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes111212344044
5Chemicals and related products2642563,4573,8932142082,1672,359
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material56648219081331491,6511,801
7Machinery and transport equipment2002271,9272,5162522942,5822,906
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles92989821,1102182562,1072,438
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere32343133336974737758
Other EU23,2933,15538,79945,4672,3452,24720,98123,746
0Food and live animals2942863,4653,5902302452,5942,789
1Beverages and tobacco29293543683137373404
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels80699239702131248291
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials881021102017453322
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes3543411113136150
5Chemicals and related products1,6561,66422,77827,5213734314,4644,924
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material50547498301161151,5881,708
7Machinery and transport equipment6914845,1535,8791,3641,1728,97110,919
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4444964,8405,6841281281,4881,623
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere39583924735158666615
USA1,9781,99120,76226,2335296258,8709,806
0Food and live animals13261532712339238215
1Beverages and tobacco4152350487111818
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels443138223443
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials00300237010141147
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes--000011
5Chemicals and related products1,4301,34813,75917,0821842852,1113,190
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material7161191442427298374
7Machinery and transport equipment1161691,5563,0642231645,1134,615
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles3663734,4604,85667908701,148
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere233654484655
China3 2801802,2312,2823243833,4984,407
0Food and live animals5259545646233037
1Beverages and tobacco00460000
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels76108110323536
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials-0000000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00220000
5Chemicals and related products77547547541728213252
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material3228322934348430
7Machinery and transport equipment117254903501661901,6902,257
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles23332993821031221,1341,347
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0000444847
Rest of World1,5962,20718,68723,3018561,18411,05612,319
0Food and live animals1161281,6271,4454971776793
1Beverages and tobacco14131821831311138149
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels27213212632524268315
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials01476671031,7081,516
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0042244045
5Chemicals and related products8461,39410,82214,9071503942,4893,200
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material14131541772430347394
7Machinery and transport equipment3113722,9753,6794063983,9334,242
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1662022,0482,2221141441,2991,607
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere10164507418555958
          
Total8,2248,70992,616111,0385,5546,02660,86567,023
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 2015 is based on current Intrastat response levels. See background notes. 
2 Includes estimates for traders below the Intrastat threshold and transactions where the EU country was not specified. 
3 China includes Hong Kong and Macao.

Background Notes

 

Introduction

Goods Exports and Imports statistics provide data on the movement of goods between countries. The statistics are a combination of Customs-based non-EU trade statistics and data from the Intrastat Survey of Irish traders involved in trade with other EU member states. The collection of trade data is the responsibility of VIMA (a branch of Revenue). The CSO is responsible for processing and disseminating the data.

Revisions to the Trade in Goods statistics

Since May 2015, significant revisions were incorporated into International Trade in Goods statistics.  While the most significant revision is due to recording trade in aircraft on a "transfer of economic ownership" basis, other revisions were incorporated into the Trade data back to 2000. 

Along with the aircraft revisions Goods Exports revisions also include upward revisions due to revaluing some products that had previously been recorded on a “transfer of economic ownership” basis, which was not in line with goods statistics methodology.  Also Goods Imports revisions include downward revisions due to a change in the estimation methodology for non-response.

The technical note (http://www.cso.ie/en/surveysandmethodology/externaltrade/) gives more detail on the revised trade in aircraft methodology and explains the impact the revisions will have on Trade in Goods, National Accounts and Balance of Payments.

Standard Revisions

Trade figures are subject to revision on the incorporation of late Intrastat and VAT returns and corrections made by traders. When the preliminary results for a month are published, the results for months -1 (November 2015 in this publication), -4 (August 2015) and -8 (April 2015) are revised. Following the move to a "transfer of economic ownership" basis for recording exports and imports of aircraft, SITC 79 figures are subject to revision on the incorporation of transactions from quarterly Balance of Payments (BoP) surveys. Such revisions will generally be incorporated into Goods Exports and Imports releases that coincide with quarterly BoP publications, i.e. when initial results are published for January, April, July and October.

Intrastat System

The Intrastat system has two components. Firstly, the Intrastat survey (conducted by the Revenue Commissioners), in which traders, above the Intrastat survey trade thresholds, make detailed monthly returns giving information on the quantity and value of all exports to or imports from EU countries.

The total number of traders required to make a detailed import return is around 6,700 while around 1,900 must make a detailed export return. The response rate in terms of number of traders in December 2015 was 69%, covering an estimated 91% of the total value of intra-EU trade (these response rates will have increased by the next time data for December is published).

The second component of the Intrastat system is the regular VAT return, on which all traders are required to record the total value of goods imported from and exported to other EU countries. This information provides the basis for determining total EU trade for those traders below the Intrastat survey thresholds. It is also used to maintain the register of EU traders.

Extrastat System

The statistics of trade with non-EU countries are compiled from the documents supplied by importers and exporters to the Customs authorities. The document is the Single Administrative Document (SAD) used for Customs clearance purposes.

Estimation

The figures in this release include estimates for traders above the Intrastat thresholds who did not make detailed returns for the period and for traders below the thresholds who did not provide aggregate intra-EU trade figures on their VAT returns.

Estimates for Intrastat non-respondents are apportioned to individual commodities and countries whenever previous Intrastat returns are available. Estimates for traders below the Intrastat thresholds are assigned to partner country where possible, but not to commodity.

More information is now being processed on lower value transactions. Prior to January 2012, transactions below €254 were grouped together, this value has now decreased to €127. Therefore, this has resulted in more detail being available at commodity level in Table 3 and at country level in Tables 4 and 5.

Unit Value Indices

The monthly unit value index measures monthly unit value trends relative to the annual levels in the preceding year using value weights relating to that year’s trade (Laspeyres index).

The annual index is compiled using value weights for both the current and previous year (Fisher index) to allow for change in the structure of trade in goods.

The monthly index series should be regarded as interim measures suitable for month-to-month comparisons within a given year. Previous monthly indices are revised when late returns are received.

When the annual unit value index is compiled, the monthly unit value indices are rescaled to make their average equal to the annual index.

Seasonally Adjusted Series

Monthly exports, imports, trade surplus and the volume series for exports and imports have been seasonally adjusted using the US Bureau of the Census X-11 Variant of the Census Method 11 Seasonal Adjustment Program. In the main, monthly projections are based on series recalculated at the end of the previous year.

Methodology

There are methodological differences between the measurement of exports and imports in this release compared with Industrial Production, National Accounts and Balance of Payments statistics. This release records the movement of all goods over the frontier at the valuation placed on the goods at the time of crossing  the frontier. Industrial Production, National Accounts and Balance of Payments statistics take account of additional aspects of cross-frontier activities such as goods sent abroad for processing where goods cross the frontier without change of ownership. The CSO releases for those statistics provide more information on their methodology.

Services Exports and Imports

The quarterly Balance of Payments (BoP) statistics provide detail on Services exports and imports.

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