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For more information on this release:
E-mail: Trade@cso.ie Ciarán Counihan (+353) 1 498 4215 Damian Malone (+353) 1 498 4206
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, , 11am

Goods Exports and Imports

August 2018

Seasonally adjusted
€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
March 201810,4896,5123,977
April 201811,1947,0234,171
May 201811,7146,4925,222
June 201811,7988,0663,732
July 201811,8237,9003,924
August 201811,4517,7563,696

Seasonally adjusted goods exports fell by 3% in August

Figure 1 Goods Exports and Imports seasonally adjusted
go to full release

The value of seasonally adjusted goods exports decreased by €372 million (-3%) to €11,451 million in August 2018, according to preliminary figures.
 
The value of goods imports decreased by €144 million (-2%) to €7,756 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. This means that there was a decrease of €228 million (-6%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €3,696 million in August 2018 (see Table 2).

Trade exports increased by 20% in August

The (unadjusted) value of goods exports for August 2018 was €11,559 million representing an increase of €1,942 million (+20%) when compared with August 2017. The value of goods exports for the period January to August 2018 was €91,947 million, an increase of €9,971 million (+12%), when compared with the first eight months of 2017.
 
The biggest category of goods exports in August 2018 was Medical and pharmaceutical products. Exports of these goods accounted for over a third (34%) of total goods exports in August 2018. Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €1,188 million (+44%) to €3,880 million in August 2018 when compared with August 2017.
 
Exports of Organic chemicals increased by €730 million (+50%) to €2,193 million in August 2018 and accounted for 19% of total goods exports.
 
Exports of Office machines and automatic data processing machines increased by €113 million (+37%) to €415 million in August 2018, over the same comparative period.

Imports of Medical and pharmaceutical products grew by over €450 million in August

The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for August 2018 was €7,172 million representing an increase of €1,073 million (+18%), when compared with August 2017. The value of goods imports for the period January to August 2018 was €56,760 million, an increase of €4,848 million (+9%), when compared with the same period of 2017.
 
Imports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €452 million (+48%) to €1,387 million compared with August 2017.

Imports of Mineral Fuels increased by €176 million (+53%) to €508 million. 

Imports of Office machines and automatic data processing machines were valued at €416 million in August 2018, an increase of €144 (+53%) over the same comparative period.
 
The value of goods imports for August 2018 excluding SITC 79 (Other transport equipment, including aircraft) was €6,255 million, an increase of €1,257 million (+25%) when compared with the corresponding August 2017 figure.

Exports to Great Britain fell by 5% in August

Exports to Great Britain accounted for 10% of total exports in August 2018. The most significant categories were Food and live animals (€322 million) and Chemicals and related products (€342 million).

Exports to Great Britain decreased by €62 million (-5%) to €1,131 million in August 2018, when compared with August 2017. This was due mainly to decreases in exports of Chemicals and related products and Machinery and transport equipment.
 
Exports to Great Britain for the period January to August 2018 were €9,063 million, which is a decrease of €496 million (-5%) compared with January to August 2017. 
 
Imports from Great Britain comprised 20% of total imports in August 2018. The largest categories of goods were Food and live animals (€263 million) and Machinery and transport equipment (€269 million).
 
Imports from Great Britain increased by €26 million (+2%) to €1,446 million in August 2018 over August 2017. There were increases in the imports of Food and live animals and Machinery and transport equipment, offset by smaller decreases in the imports of Mineral fuels and Chemicals and related products (see Table 5).

Imports from Great Britain for the period January to August 2018 were €11,637 million, an increase of €447 million (+4%) when compared with the first eight months of 2017.  

Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports

The EU accounted for €6,122 million (53%) of total exports in August 2018, of which €1,565 million went to Belgium and €1,067 million went to Germany. Exports to EU countries in August 2018 increased by €1,086 million (+22%) compared with August 2017.

Imports from the EU were €4,220 (59%) of total imports in August 2018, which is an increase of €725 million (+21%) over the same month in 2017.

The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €3,156 million (27%) of total exports in August 2018.

The USA with €1,303 million (18%) and China with €552 million (8%) 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 2010=100
€m€m€mExportsImportsExportsImportsTerms of trade3
2010 90,92448,69542,229 100.0  100.0  100.0  100.0  100.0
201193,19153,03540,155 106.1  110.4  96.6  98.7  97.9
2012 93,50756,17937,328 100.6  120.2  102.2  96.0  106.5
201389,18255,78733,394 101.1  123.5  97.0  92.8  104.6
201492,61662,15830,458 103.8  130.1  98.2  98.1  100.1
2015112,40770,11142,296 115.5  143.6  106.8  100.3  106.5
2016119,29274,13145,162 125.6  158.2  102.7  93.3  110.2
2017122,71179,30343,409 135.8  168.9  99.3  96.1  103.3
         
2015Quarter 126,04316,8649,179 110.0  138.6  104.0  99.9  104.2
 Quarter 228,70516,98311,721 114.7  134.9  110.1  103.6  106.4
 Quarter 327,47716,73810,739 114.5  134.9  105.5  102.1  103.5
 Quarter 430,18319,52610,657 123.6  168.1  107.4  95.4  112.5
2016Quarter 127,81317,60010,214 119.5  158.0  100.7  89.4  112.6
 Quarter 230,30718,91911,388 129.0  159.5  102.0  94.8  107.6
 Quarter 330,36118,10612,254 126.5  152.5  103.6  94.2  110.1
 Quarter 430,81219,50611,306 127.6  162.8  104.6  94.7  110.5
2017Quarter 132,14119,22212,919 137.0  160.2  103.3  98.4  104.9
 Quarter 231,04121,1809,862 134.2  182.1  101.9  95.6  106.7
 Quarter 328,98317,85211,131 129.1  152.0  98.1  94.9  103.4
 Quarter 430,54621,0499,497 141.0  176.8  93.8  95.4  98.2
2018Quarter 133,82620,29513,531 158.7  176.7  93.8  94.3  99.5
 Quarter 235,56321,67813,885 168.1  184.0  93.0  96.8  96.2
  
2015January8,2905,3682,922 106.3  131.7  102.9  100.5  102.4
 February8,3485,1363,212 106.9  129.5  103.0  97.8  105.4
 March9,4056,3603,045 116.8  154.6  106.2  101.4  104.8
 April9,6145,6373,977 115.0  131.8  110.3  105.4  104.6
 May9,1805,5353,645 109.5  127.7  110.6  106.8  103.6
 June9,9115,8114,099 119.5  145.3  109.4  98.5  111.0
 July9,4135,7653,648 115.1  138.3  107.9  102.7  105.0
 August8,6265,2093,416 112.1  122.5  101.6  104.8  97.0
 September9,4385,7633,675 116.3  143.8  107.1  98.7  108.5
 October10,7546,3364,418 128.0  164.7  110.9  94.8  116.9
 November10,1796,1963,983 128.2  158.0  104.8  96.6  108.4
 December9,2516,9942,256 114.5  181.6  106.6  94.9  112.3
         
2016January8,8935,1363,757 120.9  142.6  95.6  87.0  110.0
 February8,5665,4733,093 105.0  144.4  106.0  91.6  115.8
 March10,3546,9913,364 132.6  187.0  100.6  89.7  112.1
 April10,0535,5854,468 125.8  144.6  104.1  93.4  111.5
 May9,3856,4042,982 123.6  164.7  99.0  94.2  105.0
 June10,8686,9303,938 137.7  169.3  102.8  96.7  106.4
 July9,4115,7313,680 120.4  144.2  101.9  96.2  106.0
 August10,4645,7154,750 130.8  146.1  103.4  93.1  111.1
 September10,4866,6613,824 128.2  167.1  105.6  93.4  113.1
 October10,1995,7004,499 129.3  142.6  103.1  95.9  107.5
 November11,2017,2363,965 140.6  183.9  104.1  94.4  110.3
 December9,4126,5702,842 113.0  162.0  106.6  93.7  113.8
         
20174January9,9045,8154,089 122.8  144.7  106.4  98.9  107.6
 February10,2006,3403,860 135.1  158.7  99.6  98.3  101.3
March12,0377,0674,970 153.0  177.2  103.9  98.1  105.8
April9,8636,6583,205 122.6  167.2  106.2  98.0  108.4
May10,5617,4373,124 139.3  193.4  100.0  94.7  105.7
June10,6187,0853,533 140.6  185.6  99.6  94.0  106.0
July9,1785,4123,766 117.4  140.2  103.2  95.1  108.5
August9,6176,0993,518 126.1  153.9  98.2  93.6  104.9
September10,1886,3413,847 143.8  161.8  93.0  96.1  96.8
October9,6456,8182,827 143.2  180.8  88.3  92.5  95.5
November10,8497,2263,623 151.6  187.0  95.0  96.0  98.9
December10,0537,0053,048 128.3  162.7  98.0  97.7  100.3
        
20184January12,0696,5025,567 166.1  170.9  95.9  93.7  102.3
 February10,3886,5263,862 144.0  169.9  95.2  94.7  100.6
 March11,3697,2674,102 166.1  189.3  90.3  94.6  95.5
 April11,0456,7354,309 162.9  167.3  89.5  99.2  90.2
 May11,7536,8424,911 165.4  181.8  93.8  92.8  101.1
 June12,7668,1014,665 176.0  203.0  95.8  98.3  97.4
 July11,0007,6153,385 152.0  182.0  95.5  103.1  92.6
 August11,5597,1724,386 161.4  175.2  94.5  100.9  93.7
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. August 2018 is based on current Intrastat response levels. See background notes.
Table 2 Goods Exports and Imports seasonally adjusted1 series
PeriodValueVolume index
ExportsImportsTrade surplusBase year 2010=100
€m€m€mExportsImports
2015Quarter 126,28616,06210,224 112.0  130.9
 Quarter 228,46017,27111,189 112.9  134.8
 Quarter 327,21117,6129,599 113.7  143.5
 Quarter 430,82319,20511,618 125.8  167.6
2016Quarter 127,86616,66011,206 119.7  149.6
 Quarter 229,75919,07510,684 126.5  161.3
 Quarter 330,22119,04211,178 125.7  161.2
 Quarter 431,01019,26211,749 129.0  159.6
2017Quarter 132,94118,70314,239 137.6  154.3
 Quarter 230,23821,4738,765 131.1  186.1
 Quarter 329,33218,76310,569 131.4  162.1
 Quarter 430,54420,6009,943 142.2  170.7
2018Quarter 133,96820,51213,456 157.1  174.7
 Quarter 234,70621,58113,125 165.0  183.9
       
2015January8,6415,0073,633 110.1  126.5
 February8,9665,3163,650 115.2  130.5
 March8,6795,7392,941 110.6  135.6
 April9,7405,6784,061 117.7  129.0
 May9,3765,8873,489 107.8  133.7
 June9,3455,7063,639 113.3  141.7
 July9,0766,1022,974 113.6  147.5
 August9,1505,7253,425 117.8  137.4
 September8,9865,7863,200 109.6  145.7
 October10,8206,2504,570 128.0  165.5
 November9,5216,1083,413 120.4  158.1
 December10,4826,8463,635 129.0  179.1
       
2016January9,4495,0844,365 127.0  145.3
 February8,9445,5203,424 108.7  143.8
 March9,4736,0563,417 123.3  159.6
 April9,8755,7124,163 125.3  148.7
 May9,6436,5033,140 124.8  167.8
 June10,2416,8603,381 129.4  167.4
 July9,2026,1883,014 118.3  156.8
 August 10,6985,9784,720 132.1  155.2
 September10,3216,8763,444 126.7  171.6
 October10,3565,7914,565 130.1  144.4
 November10,4206,8483,572 130.0  171.3
 December10,2346,6233,612 127.0  163.1
       
2017January10,7745,6925,083 129.5  140.8
 February11,1236,8154,308 141.8  168.3
 March11,0446,1964,848 141.4  153.9
 April9,8607,1952,664 124.0  181.5
 May10,5597,2773,282 136.6  192.1
 June9,8197,0012,818 132.7  184.7
 July9,7295,7573,972 124.5  151.1
 August9,6906,4213,268 126.4  163.3
 September9,9146,5853,329 143.3  172.0
 October9,8396,5683,271 141.9  172.4
 November9,9626,7933,169 140.5  172.9
 December10,7437,2393,504 144.3  166.7
       
2018January12,4796,8955,585 168.8  175.0
 February11,0007,1063,894 149.7  182.3
 March10,4896,5123,977 152.9  166.8
 April11,1947,0234,171 168.8  177.2
 May11,7146,4925,222 162.3  176.0
 June11,7988,0663,732 163.8  198.5
 July11,8237,9003,924 165.4  191.1
 August11,4517,7563,696 160.5  194.0
1 Based on seasonal patterns up to December 2017. Accordingly all values in this table may have been revised.
Table 3 Goods Exports and Imports classified by commodity1
€million
SITC (Rev 4)ExportsImports
AugAugJan-AugJan-AugAugAugJan-AugJan-Aug
20172018201720182017201820172018
0Food and live animals9248957,4017,2375746864,6274,994
0Live animals other than animals of Division 0323252311989710182
1Meat and meat preparations3143172,4442,5397989632683
2Dairy products and birds' eggs2392341,5761,6936170523581
3Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof45404053872425195187
4Cereals and cereal preparations343327226288128707789
5Vegetables and fruit2526205222105118845891
6Sugars, sugar preparations and honey1515105983029250240
7Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof29332452475152373379
8Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)242820722272109529660
9Miscellaneous edible products and preparations1771441,7121,3705658472502
1Beverages and tobacco1291498488688681566543
11Beverages 1281498448677974519519
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures1031774725
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1411651,1791,3017276603617
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw9887720000
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 0165452222
23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 00111187
24Cork and wood12161021171317106115
25Pulp and waste paper755040734031
26Textile fibres and their wastes1012858911109
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)121490981515111107
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap811006707921818161166
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes111086881417145160
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials110786607163325083,0493,724
32Coal, coke and briquettes566774410131129
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials93495194922643992,4332,828
34Gas, natural and manufactured1211146185460667
35Electric current10216413531425101
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes6465452223180177
41Animal oils and fats535738111311
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils11771920154153
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes0011121313
5Chemicals and related products5,1017,17745,55557,1201,5332,11711,95514,162
51Organic chemicals1,4622,19312,96417,5182142852,2572,223
52Inorganic chemicals1014911373336220222
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials3313249931918167147
54Medical and pharmaceutical products2,6923,88023,86930,7549351,3876,4188,565
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations5316355,3135,288127104958867
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)01591635275334
57Plastics in primary forms313823629975108637696
58Plastics in non-primary forms38373353334654415443
59Chemical materials and products nes3043662,4932,6906789610665
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1891941,5201,5554324463,3233,551
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins332518121313
62Rubber manufactures nes5652602430201225
63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)25271922122727193194
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof12151031067376570596
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products9111001084142313333
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes41423193154953364384
67Iron and steel15141141226063478547
68Non-ferrous metals11970775544377396
69Manufactures of metals nes6767545537102109813864
7Machinery and transport equipment1,7751,41514,21611,9582,1642,33120,82522,022
71Power generating machinery and equipment57704825919180703606
72Machinery specialised for particular industries5442471475961998881,227
73Metalworking machinery3324208157996
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes1441341,2511,2441181491,0511,186
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)3024152,2292,8472724162,2202,719
76Telecommunications and sound equipment871046588011201411,0021,132
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts4084674,7013,3522072401,6901,801
78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)22242132291501742,3882,381
79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)6981564,1862,4001,10191710,80310,875
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1,1731,3349,93410,3556867265,2985,427
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings121094952222170182
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc14151251243846316351
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers22181413149796
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories22191801311721751,1701,167
85Footwear3326254239271272
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes4805294,0594,1041391451,1311,197
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks1091169069153336284270
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes5316404,5254,9462262491,8601,893
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere16532013033841278327
Unclassified estimates252933994911601371,2091,214
           
Total9,61711,55881,97791,9476,0997,17251,91356,760
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. August 2018 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
AugAugJan-AugJan-AugAugAugJan-AugJan-Aug
20172018201720182017201820172018
Austria30352543032023195216
Belgium8951,5658,79411,9071001289611,089
Bulgaria7858694111628
Croatia4426333187
Cyprus32181700221
Czech Republic28482523713051265378
Denmark50663964873244284349
Estonia32151411711
Finland1718213205912110100
France4694453,4173,6577095066,7486,637
Germany9421,0676,9156,8645731,1924,6237,562
Great Britain1,1931,1319,5599,0631,4201,44611,19111,637
Greece1277183381474543
Hungary 2525205210107581297
Italy 2013031,7412,316741011,0971,106
Latvia1394151263533
Lithuania231522685471
Luxembourg152476115272047
Malta33211121267
Netherlands4636243,8224,9381832311,5572,006
Northern Ireland1651891,2681,326114120906936
Poland107878106934954405403
Portugal19323212892413177137
Romania3224221233776856
Slovakia653650442934
Slovenia784956232120
Spain1632251,7751,71578998871,068
Sweden66755025912935315501
EU country not specified29618552143634148399
Total EU5,0366,12241,55846,2293,4954,22030,26235,198
  of which United Kingdom1,3581,32010,82610,3881,5341,56612,09612,573
Euro-Zone33,2624,44727,69333,0121,7852,34216,52220,208
         
Australia4793600595875465
Brazil13291142351717125131
Canada69707248994248402369
China43324223,7153,3093945522,8453,391
India30312352215737476397
Japan2153051,4542,33370124812989
Malaysia12191181392738213252
Mexico1041159799591729193231
Norway192327324262143778634
Russia38443233591475238386
Saudi Arabia35375033691156
Singapore68644714722015130305
South Africa13241501878107476
South Korea122494674116059659449
Switzerland5674904,2724,5714962389428
Taiwan18201612243432197211
Thailand1812117973144264285
Turkey41373624364143383361
USA2,3833,15622,38325,6931,4121,30311,2339,215
Other countries3623352,7042,7861782101,5491,746
Country unknown572622941,180651026301,635
Total Non-EU4,5815,43740,41945,7182,6042,95221,65121,562
         
Total9,61711,55881,97791,9476,0997,17251,91356,760
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. August 2018 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.
4 China 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 SITCAugAugJan-AugJan-AugAugAugJan-AugJan-Aug
20172018201720182017201820172018
Great Britain1,1931,1319,5599,0631,4201,44611,19111,637
0Food and live animals3133222,4992,5702362631,8702,008
1Beverages and tobacco20191371293128186184
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels31402663071616126139
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials19352383002572371,6131,968
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes11812443229
5Chemicals and related products4213423,3372,7572252052,1141,770
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material79856416741461641,1931,290
7Machinery and transport equipment1821601,4551,3022402691,9792,145
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles98957687861691831,3721,420
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere27322112279877706685
Other EU23,8434,99131,99937,1672,0742,77419,07123,561
0Food and live animals3773622,7712,8782432832,0022,134
1Beverages and tobacco34382452553939273262
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels79906247002226210206
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials22211701762235253587
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes4354311315113112
5Chemicals and related products2,1013,35618,98824,1894361,2573,8757,802
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material69765866291611491,2011,266
7Machinery and transport equipment7135114,7864,2079187499,3629,351
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4074583,5063,7371441431,1741,177
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere36772683647777608663
USA2,3833,15622,38325,6931,4121,30311,2339,215
0Food and live animals41363372051823137160
1Beverages and tobacco5571348362121111
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels323125583435
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials37812185049141173
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00000001
5Chemicals and related products1,3932,22413,74818,8446593074,2322,336
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material14171651143338263281
7Machinery and transport equipment4072673,8582,1965857585,5415,314
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4295213,7373,822101106803810
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere39383910127293
China33324223,7153,3093945522,8453,391
0Food and live animals4044599491352428
1Beverages and tobacco10320000
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels565137422925
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials000510000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00110000
5Chemicals and related products601276041,01520152193471
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material4320314548315317
7Machinery and transport equipment1721842,0781,2671872011,4031,633
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles5057358415128141835876
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0000654541
Rest of World1,8651,85914,32116,7167991,0977,5728,956
0Food and live animals1531301,1941,09475111595664
1Beverages and tobacco192111512015119686
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels22272082312625203213
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials3214132104531871,042995
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0021543536
5Chemicals and related products1,1261,1288,87910,3141921971,5421,784
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material22131081074847351396
7Machinery and transport equipment3002942,0382,9872343542,5403,578
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1892051,5641,5941431521,1141,146
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere22883163885659
         
Total9,61711,55881,97791,9476,0997,17251,91356,760
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. August 2018 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 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 (July 2018 in this publication), -4 (April 2018) and -8 (December 2017) 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 5,200 while around 2,200 must make a detailed export return. The response rate in terms of number of traders in August 2018 was 70%, covering an estimated 93% of the total value of intra-EU trade (these response rates will have increased by the next time data for August 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.

The unit value index series has been rebased to 2010 from 1990. In the course of this rebasing, a detailed examination of the series was undertaken. This exercise has produced a number of modifications enabling production of a more robust series.

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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