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Key Findings

The USA was Ireland’s single largest export market in 2021

Online ISSN: 2009-5155
CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Findings

  • Ireland exported over €165 billion of goods in 2021 and imported almost €104 billion.

  • Exports of Chemicals & Related Products accounted for 62% of total exports.

  • Almost one third, or €52 billion of our exports went to the US.

  • There were over €61 billion of exports to the EU in 2021, and over €34 billion of imports.

  • The UK was our biggest import partner in 2021, accounting for 19% of our imports.

  • In 2021, more than a quarter of our exports to the UK was Food & Live Animals.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (12 December 2022) released Ireland’s Trade in Goods 2021.

Commenting on the release, Ciarán Counihan, Statistician in the International Trade in Goods Division, said: “In 2021, Ireland exported over €165 billion of goods and imported almost €104 billion. Exports of Chemicals & Related Products accounted for 62% of total exports, with a value of almost €103 billion.

Imports of Machinery & Transport Equipment accounted for €41 billion of our imports in 2021, while imports of Food & Live Animals were valued at over €7 billion.”

The EU accounted for more than €61 billion of our exports, while the US was the largest single export partner with exports of €52 billion.

Trade with Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Ireland’s biggest import partner in 2021 was the UK, with €19.5 billion of our imports. In January 2021, Great Britain left the EU customs union, and traders had to complete customs forms to import or export goods with Great Britain.  Northern Ireland, while remaining part of the customs territory of the UK, effectively remains part of the EU Single Market for the movement of goods. 

In 2021, imports from Northern Ireland were 21% of total UK imports, with a value of €4 billion. This is an increase of €1.6 billion (+9%) compared with 2020.  

Imports from Great Britain decreased by 13% in 2021 compared with 2020. Exports to Great Britain in 2021 were €14.4 billion, which was an increase of 17% compared with 2020. This was mainly due to increases in the exports of Chemicals & Related Products.