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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Goods Exports and Imports

April 2015

Seasonally adjusted
€ million
November 20147,0845,0951,988
December 20148,8164,5154,302
January 20158,2874,4513,836
February 20158,5304,7313,798
March 20158,3145,0133,302
April 20159,3034,7344,570

April goods exports reach an all-time high

Goods Exports and Imports seasonally adjusted
go to full release

Preliminary figures for April 2015 show that seasonally adjusted exports increased by €989 million (+12%) from March to €9,303 million, the highest monthly figure in the published series. Seasonally adjusted imports for April decreased by €279 million (-6%) leading to a significant increase of €1,268 million (+38%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €4,570 million in April (see Table 2).

High value of exports continues in April

The (unadjusted) value of exports for April 2015 was €9,183 million representing an increase of €2,123 million (+30%) when compared with April 2014. This also represents the highest monthly value in the published series. The main driver behind the April 2015 increase was the increase in the exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products of €1,056 million (+63%) to €2,727 million. The exports of Organic chemicals also increased by €560 million (+40%) in April.

The EU accounted for €4,721 million (51%) of total exports in April 2015 of which 15% went to Belgium. The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for 24% (€2,228 million) of total exports in April 2015.

Imports of Chemicals and related products up

The (unadjusted) value of imports for April 2015 was €4,699 million representing an increase of €401 million (+9%) when compared with April 2014. During April 2015 imports of Chemicals and related products increased by €234 million (+25%) to €1,179 million and imports of Miscellaneous manufactured articles increased by €137 million (+28%) to €628 million. Imports of Machinery specialised for particular industries also increased in April by 86% to €225 million.

The EU accounted for 61% of the value of imports in April 2015, with 27% of total imports coming from Great Britain. The USA (12%) and China (6%) were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Advance Notice: The May 2015 Goods Exports and Imports release, due to be published next month, will include significant revisions to International Trade in Goods statistics. The most significant revision is due to recording trade in aircraft on a "change of economic ownership" basis. The technical note ( explains the impact the revisions will have on Trade in Goods, National Accounts and Balance of Payments.


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    
PeriodValueVolume index1Unit value index1 
ExportsImportsTrade surplusBase year 1990=100
€m€m€mExportsImportsExportsImportsTerms of trade2
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
2001 92,69057,38435,306422.0274.2120.9131.891.7
2002 93,67555,62838,047435.1276.6118.5126.793.5
2003 82,07647,86534,212418.4259.7108.0116.193.0
2004 84,41051,10533,304446.5283.6104.0113.591.7
2005 86,73257,46529,267456.7316.3104.5114.491.3
2006 86,77260,85725,915458.0325.2104.4117.788.7
2007 89,22663,48625,741481.8340.9101.9117.386.9
2008 86,39457,58528,810484.5300.598.0119.781.9
2009 85,80445,06140,742468.4249.298.9113.986.8
2010 89,70345,76443,940485.5241.3101.2119.284.9
2011 91,22848,30242,925507.9240.899.7126.478.8
2012 91,68849,14642,542479.1231.9105.8133.779.2
2014Quarter 121,25413,4147,840454.3253.2103.1133.577.2
 Quarter 222,82013,0769,744491.0247.7102.3132.976.9
 Quarter 322,23413,0249,210467.4246.6104.7133.078.7
 Quarter 422,89914,3098,590474.3273.9106.3131.680.8
2015Quarter 124,90214,89910,003..........
1 Monthly data have been rescaled to make their average equal to the annual.   
2 Export unit value index divided by Import unit value index.
3 Revised, see background notes.
4 April 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
2013Quarter 121,18111,6829,499442.4225.6
 Quarter 221,56712,3189,249452.2233.5
 Quarter 322,30212,8459,456475.8242.4
 Quarter 422,11013,2648,846468.6250.2
2014Quarter 121,29912,7298,569453.5242.3
Quarter 222,45713,1609,297487.3248.6
Quarter 322,32813,8058,523469.0259.3
Quarter 423,46214,2899,173483.5273.7
2015Quarter 125,13114,19510,936....
1 Based on seasonal patterns up to December 2014. Accordingly all values in this table may have been revised.
Table 3 Goods Exports and Imports classified by commodity1 
SITC (Rev 4)ExportsImports
0Food and live animals7937822,9473,0235104632,0152,057
00Live animals other than animals of Division 0326189386545449
01Meat and meat preparations2702861,0391,1187372274301
02Dairy products and birds' eggs1491495405007653270238
03Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof444719718722188183
04Cereals and cereal preparations35361121297769310318
05Vegetables and fruit212482919383351345
06Sugars, sugar preparations and honey91136382926114119
07Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof35271371083134138163
08Feeding stuff for animals (excl. unmilled cereals)1925811046660278266
09Miscellaneous edible products and preparations1851596316623843144176
1Beverages and tobacco81923203666365227230
11Beverages 76883003495758200203
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures542017772727
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1491625786346075240280
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw131554570000
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 1123431011
23Crude rubber (incl. synthetic and reclaimed) 11211156
24Cork and wood121346518113748
25Pulp and waste paper451818461719
26Textile fibres and their wastes111244482166
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excl. coal, petroleum and precious stones)159534712123940
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap849732336613216277
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes98354217206472
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials113863172255174112,3501,906
32Coal, coke and briquettes1114344025156769
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials100672741653962941,7701,372
34Gas, natural and manufactured20819294475433
35Electric current05118583831
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes64221821207280
41Animal oils and fats5418162256
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils102217166066
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes00102278
5Chemicals and related products4,0665,81316,62421,1109451,1794,0504,763
51Organic chemicals1,4011,9616,2187,1892073081,2191,411
52Inorganic chemicals1310496816206282
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials1011384116216272
54Medical and pharmaceutical products1,6712,7276,7389,7633864841,4961,831
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations6427422,2992,69088105339401
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)00116058206250
57Plastics in primary forms23361041256972271277
58Plastics in non-primary forms35471401634446164177
59Chemical materials and products nes2702791,0381,0695865230263
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1491826106683383561,3311,527
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins2210111268
62Rubber manufactures nes762223252699104
63Cork and wood manufactures (excl. furniture)1921798114186174
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof111151466865267276
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products131449563533127140
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes31341061283137125155
67Iron and steel112845654554189203
68Non-ferrous metals7926294836182233
69Manufactures of metals nes48562242317084276334
7Machinery and transport equipment6978783,0103,5691,1671,2874,6545,456
71Power generating machinery and equipment43401811404833250155
72Machinery specialised for particular industries5155187216121225690985
73Metalworking machinery32109692538
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes124171510556111133448505
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines2452771,1421,2492383039151,118
76Telecommunications and sound equipment497220028496110361445
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts133209571897170190671778
78Road vehicles (incl. air-cushion vehicles)212186912112469661,203
79Other transport equipment293112312716639328228
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles9401,0363,5544,0514916282,0152,495
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings1112414913155972
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc121451552934116140
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers1156893239
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories21256790114141471564
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes3483751,3681,497108157453598
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks88100337352213083103
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes4565051,6741,987174211701847
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere203813713893102381424
Unclassified estimates24811019528493113377380
1 April 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
Czech Republic37381551552936137158
Great Britain9339853,8274,1141,2641,2675,4745,231
Hungary 1627831151193847
Italy 17422770976687107309375
Northern Ireland1251414905569986368343
EU Country not specified211664591115394459
Total EU3,7864,72115,55618,1012,6442,86611,12711,684
  of which Euro-Zone32,4543,26010,14112,1351,0281,1834,2554,841
Saudi Arabia501032003580122
South Africa202111478582129
South Korea34481241963077134195
Other countries3194261,1971,497202162648874
Country unknown511131052104134232
1 April 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
 Country by Section level of SITCAprAprJan-AprJan-AprAprAprJan-AprJan-Apr
Great Britain9339853,8274,1141,2641,2675,4745,231
0Food and live animals2753011,0881,170196179799819
1Beverages and tobacco2018807424248979
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels303712814012154752
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials44391931283222651,7131,159
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes1164441415
5Chemicals and related products2932521,1601,212179192675747
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material6580258297132139521571
7Machinery and transport equipment105128518618194205791855
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles7689299357146178604722
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere2440981145564220213
Other EU22,8533,73611,72813,9871,3801,5995,6536,452
0Food and live animals2852981,0861,112224207848896
1Beverages and tobacco2525911082829101109
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels779429936720228491
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials1063341286487181
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes54151313124449
5Chemicals and related products1,7572,5077,3269,1053674421,5751,699
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material6175240265132125505586
7Machinery and transport equipment2852871,2661,2733414401,4591,788
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles3203651,2561,511107119460512
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere2975117190119139491542
0Food and live animals1013475518168559
1Beverages and tobacco2234961301155
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels13813351315
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials59408953022336
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes----0010
5Chemicals and related products1,1371,6184,7005,806204238668910
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material8115736233596119
7Machinery and transport equipment76147328558249179705725
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles3403601,2311,3817295273343
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere32116441515
China3 1892316027312542951,0151,302
0Food and live animals6054168203421113
1Beverages and tobacco00120000
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels7113240331314
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials00000000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00110000
5Chemicals and related products5710119524219166984
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material238122325103134
7Machinery and transport equipment3834122117132158500663
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles2328761167085303380
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0000331514
Rest of World1,4282,0045,5907,2148249623,6874,384
0Food and live animals1621155594846757271270
1Beverages and tobacco1313515210113236
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels321711174212984109
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials011216779527531
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0010341315
5Chemicals and related products8211,3353,2444,7441762901,0631,323
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material131548582831105117
7Machinery and transport equipment1932827771,0022513041,1991,425
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles18019469268797151375540
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere1231107111451819
1 April 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



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.


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 (March 2015 in this publication), -4 (December 2014) and -8 (August 2014) are revised.

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 April 2015 was 69%, covering an estimated 92% of the total value of intra-EU trade (these response rates will have increased by the next time data for April 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.


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.

Imports incorporate an upward adjustment of 1.75% of total imports, which is included in ‘Unclassified estimates’. This special adjustment arises from the difficulty of comprehensively covering all EU imports through the Intrastat survey system. The unclassified category also includes certain miscellaneous adjustments.

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.


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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