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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 On-line ISSN 2009-5155
CSO statistical release, , 11am

Goods Exports and Imports

December 2018

€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
Jan-Dec 2017122,71179,27143,440
Jan-Dec 2018140,83590,17550,659
% change+ 14.8+ 13.8+ 16.6
Seasonally adjusted
October 201812,1618,0724,090
November 201812,1317,6054,526
December 201813,2618,6824,578

Trade exports exceeded €140 billion in 2018

Figure 1 Goods Exports and Imports
go to full release

Preliminary figures for 2018 show that goods exports were valued at €140,835 million in 2018, the highest total on record. This is an increase of €18,123 million (+15%) over 2017. 

The largest category of exports was Medical and pharmaceutical products. Exports of these goods accounted for a third (33%) of all exports, or €46,318 million in 2018. This represents an increase of €10,867 million (+31%) on the 2017 value.

 

 

Exports
Total Exports 14.7690892713814
Food and live animals-2.36794672451752
Chemicals and related products26.9372380806749
Machinery and transport equipment-6.05982518015102
Miscellaneous manufactured articles5.6295027537241

Record level of imports in 2018

Imports in 2018 also grew to a record level, increasing by €10,904 million (+14%) to €90,175 million compared with 2017.

Imports of Other transport equipment, including aircraft were valued at €20,664 million in 2018, or 23% of total imports. This was an increase of €3,710 million (+22%) on the 2017 level of imports.

Imports
Total Imports 13.7557612386311
Food and live animals7.95002920721755
Mineral fuels25.5845220142967
Chemicals and related products13.3630618946313
Machinery and transport equipment19.0444993337782

Seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by 9% in December

The value of seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by €1,130 million (+9%) to €13,261 million in December 2018, according to preliminary figures.
 
The value of goods imports increased by €1,078 million (+14%) to €8,682 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. This means that there was an increase of €52 million (+1%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €4,578 million in December 2018 (see Table 2).

Trade exports increased by over €2 billion in December

The (unadjusted) value of goods exports for December 2018 was €12,213 million representing an increase of €2,161 million (+21%) when compared with December 2017.
 
The biggest category of goods exports in December 2018 was Medical and pharmaceutical products. Exports of these goods accounted for over a quarter (26%) of total goods exports in December 2018 and increased by €553 million (+21%) to €3,145 million when compared with December 2017.
 
Exports of Organic chemicals increased by €817 million (+44%) to €2,690 million in December 2018 and accounted for 22% of total goods exports.
 
Exports of Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by €121 million (+28%) to €552 million over the same comparative period.
 
Imports grew by 23% in December

The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for December 2018 was €8,613 million representing an increase of €1,608 million (+23%), when compared with December 2017.
 
Imports of Other transport equipment, including aircraft increased by €1,687 million (+109%) to €3,234 million compared with December 2017, and accounted for 38% of the total value of imports.
 
Imports of Road vehicles increased by €51 million (+12%) to €473 million in December 2018.
 
Imports of Organic chemicals fell by €275 million (-48%) to €296 million over the same comparative period.
 
Trade deficit of €4.2 billion with Great Britain in 2018
 
Exports to Great Britain in 2018 were €14,085 million, which is a decrease of €441 million (-3%) compared with 2017. 
 
Imports from Great Britain in 2018 were €18,306 million, an increase of €811 million (+5%) when compared with 2017, meaning there was a trade deficit of €4,221 million with Great Britain in 2018. 
 
Exports to Great Britain accounted for 11% of total exports in December 2018. The most significant categories were Chemicals and related products (€389 million) and Food and live animals (€386 million).
 
Exports to Great Britain increased by €203 million (+17%) to €1,371 million in December 2018, when compared with December 2017. The main increases were in exports of Mineral fuels and Chemicals and related products.
 
Imports from Great Britain comprised 20% of total imports in December 2018. The largest categories of goods were Mineral fuels (€365 million), Machinery and transport equipment (€328 million) and Food and live animals (€284 million).
 
Imports from Great Britain increased by €66 million (+4%) to €1,686 million in December 2018 compared with December 2017. The main increases were in the imports of Mineral fuels and Machinery and transport equipment (see Table 5).
 
Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports
 
The EU accounted for €70,984 million (50%) of total exports in 2018, an increase of €8,074 million (+13%) on 2017. 
 
Exports to non-EU countries were valued at €69,851 million in 2018, which is an increase of €10,049 million (+17%) on the 2017 level of exports. The USA was the largest export destination in 2018, accounting for €39,120 million or 28% of total exports.
 
There were €54,083 million of imports from the EU in 2018, representing 60% of total imports. This was an increase of €7,587 million (+16%) on 2017. 
 
Imports from non-EU countries totalled €36,092 million, an increase of €3,317 million (+10%) on the 2017 level of imports. 
 
There were €6,446 million exports to the EU in December 2018, of which €1,960 million went to Belgium and €976 million went to Germany. Exports to EU countries in December 2018 increased by €859 million (+15%) compared with December 2017.
 
The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,513 million (21%) of total exports in December 2018. Imports from the EU were €4,709 million (55%) of total imports in December 2018, which is an increase of €428 million (+10%) over the same month in 2017.

The USA with €1,428 million (17%) and China with €485 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 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
2016119,29274,23745,055 125.6  158.2  102.7  93.3  110.2
2017122,71179,27143,440 135.8  168.9  99.3  96.1  103.3
2018140,83590,17550,659..........
         
2016Quarter 127,81317,62310,190 119.5  158.0  100.7  89.4  112.6
 Quarter 230,30718,94411,363 129.0  159.5  102.0  94.8  107.6
 Quarter 330,36118,13112,229 126.5  152.5  103.6  94.2  110.1
 Quarter 430,81219,53811,273 127.6  162.8  104.6  94.7  110.5
2017Quarter 132,14119,22212,919 137.0  160.2  103.3  98.4  104.9
 Quarter 231,04121,1489,893 134.2  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 133,84520,08813,757 159.0  175.2  93.7  94.2  99.5
 Quarter 235,53921,48414,055 168.3  183.4  92.8  96.3  96.5
 Quarter 334,05123,03811,013 155.6  187.2  96.3  101.0  95.3
 Quarter 437,39925,56511,835 171.7  212.7  95.8  98.7  97.0
         
2016January8,8935,1433,750 120.9  142.6  95.6  87.0  110.0
 February8,5665,4813,085 105.0  144.4  106.0  91.6  115.8
 March10,3546,9993,355 132.6  187.0  100.6  89.7  112.1
 April10,0535,5934,460 125.8  144.6  104.1  93.4  111.5
 May9,3856,4122,973 123.6  164.7  99.0  94.2  105.0
 June10,8686,9383,930 137.7  169.3  102.8  96.7  106.4
 July9,4115,7383,672 120.4  144.2  101.9  96.2  106.0
 August10,4645,7234,742 130.8  146.1  103.4  93.1  111.1
 September10,4866,6703,815 128.2  167.1  105.6  93.4  113.1
 October10,1995,7104,489 129.3  142.6  103.1  95.9  107.5
 November11,2017,2473,954 140.6  183.9  104.1  94.4  110.3
 December9,4126,5812,831 113.0  162.0  106.6  93.7  113.8
         
2017January9,9045,8154,089 122.8  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
June10,6187,0533,565 140.6  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
        
20184January12,1036,5385,565 166.7  171.8  95.8  93.8  102.2
 February10,4026,4233,980 144.2  166.6  95.2  95.0  100.2
 March11,3407,1284,212 166.1  187.1  90.1  93.9  96.0
 April11,0026,6034,399 162.3  163.7  89.5  99.4  90.0
 May11,7886,9384,850 166.9  185.9  93.2  92.0  101.4
 June12,7497,9434,806 175.7  200.7  95.7  97.6  98.1
 July11,0597,8803,180 151.4  189.0  96.4  102.7  93.8
 August11,4937,1814,313 161.6  182.7  93.9  96.9  96.9
 September11,4997,9783,521 153.9  189.9  98.6  103.5  95.3
 October12,1678,6613,507 170.1  215.6  94.4  99.0  95.4
 November13,0188,2914,727 177.7  207.8  96.7  98.3  98.3
 December12,2138,6133,601 167.4  214.6  96.3  98.9  97.3
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 2018 is based on current Intrastat response levels. See background notes.
.. Indices not yet available.
Table 2 Goods Exports and Imports seasonally adjusted1 series
PeriodValueVolume index
ExportsImportsTrade surplusBase year 2010=100
€m€m€mExportsImports
2016Quarter 127,86616,68211,184 119.7  149.6
 Quarter 229,75919,10110,659 126.5  161.3
 Quarter 330,22119,06911,152 125.7  161.2
 Quarter 431,01019,29411,716 129.0  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 133,99220,31313,679 157.4  173.2
 Quarter 234,68321,37813,305 165.3  183.2
 Quarter 334,92724,32210,606 160.6  201.1
 Quarter 437,55324,35813,195 173.2  203.1
       
2016January9,4495,0914,358 127.0  145.3
 February8,9445,5283,417 108.7  143.8
 March9,4736,0643,409 123.3  159.6
 April9,8755,7214,154 125.3  148.7
 May9,6436,5123,132 124.8  167.8
 June10,2416,8683,373 129.4  167.4
 July9,2026,1963,006 118.3  156.8
 August 10,6985,9874,711 132.1  155.2
 September10,3216,8863,435 126.7  171.6
 October10,3565,8014,555 130.1  144.4
 November10,4206,8593,562 130.0  171.3
 December10,2346,6343,600 127.0  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
 June9,8196,9692,849 132.7  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
       
2018January12,5156,9335,582 169.4  175.9
 February11,0166,9934,022 149.9  178.7
 March10,4626,3874,075 152.9  164.9
 April11,1516,8864,265 168.3  173.4
 May11,7506,5835,167 163.8  180.0
 June11,7827,9093,873 163.7  196.2
 July11,8878,1743,713 164.8  198.5
 August11,3877,7653,622 160.8  202.3
 September11,6548,3833,272 156.3  202.4
 October12,1618,0724,090 163.5  198.4
 November12,1317,6054,526 167.3  192.7
 December13,2618,6824,578 188.8  218.1
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
DecDecJan-DecJan-DecDecDecJan-DecJan-Dec
20172018201720182017201820172018
0Food and live animals96696211,37511,1056426367,1837,754
0Live animals other than animals of Division 0358674484287757303251
1Meat and meat preparations3793573,8463,92092839831,026
2Dairy products and birds' eggs1822232,3932,5896665785839
3Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof66486175792222291287
4Cereals and cereal preparations3537419427102991,1031,261
5Vegetables and fruit22212993191011031,2521,325
6Sugars, sugar preparations and honey11121571492923377361
7Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof25253743824349595612
8Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)283332034556827801,057
9Miscellaneous edible products and preparations1591382,5021,9675453714735
1Beverages and tobacco1151371,3631,4366579907897
11Beverages 1141371,3581,4356576822848
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures0051038548
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1621441,8151,9296677904933
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw1061321050-00
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 0088423330
23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 0011111111
24Cork and wood8101491711514167187
25Pulp and waste paper657460245446
26Textile fibres and their wastes99129133111413
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)9101311461213170170
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap103951,0511,1761727243257
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes1781391301416211219
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials901539931,2014235294,7705,990
32Coal, coke and briquettes889810455170176
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials65417557193152973,7454,401
34Gas, natural and manufactured001418921257951,102
35Electric current161041273601110160311
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes7491641817260259
41Animal oils and fats637952111816
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils1111101515222223
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes0012212020
5Chemicals and related products5,4256,73167,82986,1001,4631,08217,48419,820
51Organic chemicals1,8732,69019,75726,7565712963,7463,517
52Inorganic chemicals18181561861731321337
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials983281361514245235
54Medical and pharmaceutical products2,5923,14535,45246,3185024298,81411,282
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations5865247,5927,7881281111,4891,350
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)106102329373460
57Plastics in primary forms27313614537064939992
58Plastics in non-primary forms35304874795645625677
59Chemical materials and products nes2852853,6893,9748062931970
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1561922,2772,3603663795,0585,374
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins324326112019
62Rubber manufactures nes5679912023297327
63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)17182853081719284295
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof12111591616876875918
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products12491521953838483510
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes32314734754447565597
67Iron and steel13121721824947732825
68Non-ferrous metals781071164732598578
69Manufactures of metals nes555680780582961,2031,305
7Machinery and transport equipment1,9062,60321,08719,8093,0584,89532,12438,242
71Power generating machinery and equipment676478687284981,017983
72Machinery specialised for particular industries93447567551501421,3371,855
73Metalworking machinery213328916118148
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes1651391,8571,9181291501,5851,822
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)4043633,5624,2973253723,3504,469
76Telecommunications and sound equipment1001071,0311,2931811781,6511,842
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts4315526,4355,3652122322,5532,818
78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)21233173314214733,5583,640
79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)6211,3096,3124,9491,5473,23416,95420,664
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1,1481,19314,87415,7117097428,3068,647
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings1281481472424272293
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc14121821834144480533
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers2225221414150148
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories19172662241581621,8461,888
85Footwear4441393837415418
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes4384686,0256,2821391431,7201,828
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks1001001,3441,3633235426422
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes5605836,8427,4512632842,9973,118
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere29343894653943433495
Unclassified estimates250596196531561341,8421,763
           
Total10,05312,213122,711140,8357,0058,61379,27190,175
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 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
DecDecJan-DecJan-DecDecDecJan-DecJan-Dec
20172018201720182017201820172018
Austria35253894162921287317
Belgium1,6161,96013,33318,406941071,3941,632
Bulgaria61185105222547
Croatia443947111112
Cyprus31252300422
Czech Republic50314185717657444725
Denmark62496537303238433507
Estonia122321111219
Finland24153222901412167152
France3914085,3485,3501,1151,34510,50011,363
Germany76897610,09910,5525525956,89010,571
Great Britain1,1681,37114,52614,0851,6201,68617,49518,306
Greece1450331535436267
Hungary 27392923405418163353
Italy 2252362,6203,638120991,5641,573
Latvia356385354748
Lithuania3224316876106
Luxembourg1319121185222862
Malta233212311910
Netherlands5106075,9297,6282031932,4342,948
Northern Ireland1511501,9292,0121151201,3741,477
Poland159821,3291,1574563627676
Portugal32364564421314252202
Romania22413143888710193
Slovakia575878575059
Slovenia998484223127
Spain2152162,5962,564102951,3171,441
Sweden64827629225544512665
EU country not specified26107081756162186602
Total EU5,5886,44662,90970,9844,2814,70946,49654,083
  of which United Kingdom1,3191,52116,45516,0971,7351,80618,86819,783
Euro-Zone33,8684,57741,85550,4522,2662,51125,12530,620
        
Australia764088983510598106
Brazil13111822931524222245
Canada121651,0911,3517839642526
China42966525,0775,4734224854,5275,361
India242635332712833811560
Japan2638432,6174,033129961,2091,440
Malaysia20182332089838473427
Mexico98831,4271,4161930268351
Norway282139534958581,131987
Russia28314975211434313557
Saudi Arabia604470554610818
Singapore46646857001010309445
South Africa221824327667102113
South Korea473163559186109976857
Switzerland4145066,2126,4809269602724
Taiwan34122673192543297375
Thailand7131651503439385438
Turkey47315305655477572611
USA2,5382,51333,28439,1201,0461,42816,36815,759
Other countries2812693,9463,9631341732,4022,402
Country unknown514733682,3342641,1061,0603,790
Total Non-EU4,4655,76759,80269,8512,7243,90432,77536,092
         
Total10,05312,213122,711140,8357,0058,61379,27190,175
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 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 SITCDecDecJan-DecJan-DecDecDecJan-DecJan-Dec
20172018201720182017201820172018
Great Britain1,1681,37114,52614,0851,6201,68617,49518,306
0Food and live animals3853864,0034,0853062843,0103,149
1Beverages and tobacco16192122102231276304
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels26343984421312186199
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials311293665753123652,7103,251
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes111416334743
5Chemicals and related products3193894,8904,1422222093,0292,675
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material64669621,0071341471,8171,967
7Machinery and transport equipment2002242,1942,0502863283,0973,351
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles99951,1691,2332252292,2302,320
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere272931832596771,0921,047
Other EU24,4195,07548,38356,8992,6623,02429,00135,777
0Food and live animals3733814,2674,3892492493,0433,223
1Beverages and tobacco30353874172937452439
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels99669771,0402427313325
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials36242763515247460856
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes5373451110163165
5Chemicals and related products2,8023,58028,50137,2333793735,67710,315
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material61628879401331281,8521,906
7Machinery and transport equipment5474707,2026,3451,5701,93614,34015,780
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4324145,3875,6591351411,7751,844
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere33424284807877925925
USA2,5382,51333,28439,1201,0461,42816,36815,759
0Food and live animals26204823162725225284
1Beverages and tobacco5470577614111717
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels434438445151
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials001691042448198421
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0-000011
5Chemicals and related products1,3091,59720,52628,5223502405,8893,415
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material12112241742830390414
7Machinery and transport equipment7213465,7283,4594999678,2429,774
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4094645,4755,8401041021,2491,249
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere235954911106134
China32966525,0775,4734224854,5275,361
0Food and live animals6255902753333844
1Beverages and tobacco00530000
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels537354344340
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials001510-00
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00210000
5Chemicals and related products651779061,61919102286673
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material4232393334470482
7Machinery and transport equipment1293672,6232,3462282222,2132,613
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles31475336061311161,4091,444
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0000556864
Rest of World1,6302,60221,44125,2571,2561,99011,88014,972
0Food and live animals1201211,7201,56257748661,055
1Beverages and tobacco14141831921310161136
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels27383233552231311318
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials23018012035701,4011,462
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0032344950
5Chemicals and related products92998813,00614,5844931582,6042,742
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material15511732013840528606
7Machinery and transport equipment3091,1953,3405,6104751,4424,2326,725
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1771742,3102,3741141541,6441,791
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere1620203259688387
         
Total10,05312,213122,711140,8357,0058,61379,27190,175
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 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 (November 2018 in this publication), -4 (August 2018) and -8 (April 2018) 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 December 2018 was 71%, covering an estimated 95% 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.

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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