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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Goods Exports and Imports

December 2019

€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
Jan-Dec 2018140,64591,95248,693
Jan-Dec 2019152,57389,18863,385
% change+ 8.5- 3.0+ 30.0
Seasonally adjusted
October 201914,3267,9736,352
November 201912,1227,4734,649
December 201912,6207,7564,864

Goods exports exceeded €152 billion in 2019

Figure 1 Goods Exports and Imports
go to full release

Preliminary figures for 2019 show that goods exports were valued at €152,572 million in 2019, the highest total on record. This is an increase of €11,928 million (+8%) over 2018.

The largest category of exports was Medical and pharmaceutical products. Exports of these goods accounted for a third (33%) of all exports, or €49,655 million in 2019. This represents an increase of €3,454 million (+7%) on the 2018 value.

Exports
Total Exports 8.48058140267059
Food and live animals4.88650430984005
Chemicals and related products8.56537197984487
Machinery and transport equipment18.4249815400472
Miscellaneous manufactured articles3.43318016000422

Goods imports decreased in 2019

Imports in 2019 decreased compared to 2018, falling by €2,764 million (-3%) to €89,188 million.

Imports of Other transport equipment, including aircraft were valued at €19,857 million in 2019, or 22% of total imports. This was a decrease of €2,278 million (-10%) on the 2018 level of imports.

 

Imports
Total Imports -3.00596172528648
Food and live animals0.573363345541168
Mineral fuels-6.79490481933672
Chemicals and related products-14.5209948825672
Machinery and transport equipment-1.58585761996872

Seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by 4% in December

The value of seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by €498 million (+4%) to €12,620 million in December 2019, according to preliminary figures.

The value of goods imports increased by €283 million (+4%) to €7,756 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. This means that there was an increase of €215 million (+5%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €4,864 million in December 2019 (see Table 2).

Trade exports decreased by over €200 million in December

The (unadjusted) value of goods exports for December 2019 was €11,649 million representing a decrease of €223 million (-2%) when compared with December 2018.

Exports of Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by €297 million (+54%) to €851 million in December 2019.

Exports of Office machines and automatic data processing machines increased by €133 million (+37%) to €489 million.

Exports of Other transport equipment (including aircraft) decreased by €1,016 billion (-73%) to €385 million over the same comparative period.

Imports fell by over €800 million in December

The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for December 2019 was €8,100 million representing a decrease of €811 million (-9%) when compared with December 2018.

Imports of Other transport equipment, including aircraft decreased by €1,559 million (-44%) to €2,000 million compared with December 2018, and accounted for 25% of the total value of imports.

Imports of Food and live animals increased by €50 million (+8%) to €699 million in December 2019.

Imports of Organic chemicals increased by €561 million (+190%) to €857 million over the same comparative period.

Trade deficit of €5.2 billion with Great Britain in 2019

Exports to Great Britain in 2019 were €13,524 million, which is a decrease of €504 million (-4%) compared with 2018. The largest product categories exported in 2019 were Food and live animals (€4,009 million) and Chemicals and related products (€3,964 million). Exports to Great Britain accounted for 9% of total exports in 2019.

Imports from Great Britain in 2019 were €18,746 million, an increase of €383 million (+2%) when compared with 2018, meaning there was a trade deficit of €5,221 million with Great Britain in 2019. The biggest product categories imported in 2019 were Machinery and transport equipment (€4,036 million) and Food and live animals (€3,321 million). Imports from Great Britain accounted for 21% of total imports in 2019.

Exports to Great Britain decreased by €136 million (-11%) in December 2019 to €1,084 million when compared with December 2018. The biggest decreases were in Machinery and transport equipment and Food and live animals.

Imports from Great Britain increased by €213 million (+13%) in December 2019 compared with December 2018. The largest increase was in the imports of Chemicals and related products (see Table 5).

Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports

The EU accounted for €72,601 million (48%) of total exports in 2019, an increase of €1,930 million (+3%) on 2018.

Exports to non-EU countries were valued at €79,972 million in 2019, which is an increase of €9,998 million (+14%) on the 2018 level of exports. The USA was the largest export destination in 2019, accounting for €46,938 million or 31% of total exports.

There were €52,970 million of imports from the EU in 2019, representing 59% of total imports. This was a decrease of €1,370 million (-3%) on 2018.

Imports from non-EU countries totalled €36,218, a decrease of €1,394 million (-4%) on the 2018 level of imports.

There were €5,552 million exports to the EU in December 2019, of which €1,087 million went to Belgium and €890 million went to Germany. Exports to EU countries in December 2019 decreased by €512 million (-8%) compared with December 2018.

The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €3,478 million (30%) of total exports in December 2019.

Imports from the EU were €5,603 million (69%) of total imports in December 2019, which is an increase of €938 million (+20%) over the same month in 2018.

The USA with €719 million (9%) and China with €431 million (5%) were the main non-EU sources of imports. 

 

NOTE on revised data

The CSO has revised the export and import data for Electric current (SITC 35) from October 2018. In October 2018, a new Integrated Single Electricity Market for the EU was introduced, which created difficulties for traders in electricity to collect the data required for Intrastat reporting. CSO has worked closely with Revenue (VIMA) and the companies involved to resolve this issue.

The resulting data revisions show a decrease in both exports and imports of Electric current. However, the trade balance for this product remains largely unaffected. The changes have mainly affected trade data with Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The revised data are incorporated in the September 2019 Goods Exports and Imports release.

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
2017122,78582,95639,829 135.8  168.9  99.3  96.1  103.3
2018140,64591,95248,693 156.2  189.2  99.1  99.5  99.6
2019152,57389,18863,385..........
         
2017Quarter 132,17920,98511,194 137.0  160.2  103.3  98.4  104.9
 Quarter 231,07721,7459,331 134.2  182.1  101.9  95.6  106.7
 Quarter 328,98318,55010,433 129.1  152.0  98.1  94.9  103.4
 Quarter 430,54621,6768,871 141.0  176.8  93.8  95.4  98.2
2018Quarter 133,84320,08813,755 152.3  172.2  97.9  95.9  102.1
 Quarter 235,55621,88013,676 161.5  184.3  96.8  97.6  99.3
 Quarter 334,16323,21410,949 148.2  181.9  101.4  104.0  97.6
 Quarter 437,08326,77010,313 163.2  218.7  100.2  100.3  99.9
2019Quarter 137,57021,65815,912 165.6  189.6  99.9  93.8  106.5
 Quarter 238,58721,76516,823 173.3  193.9  98.2  93.5  105.0
 Quarter 337,62121,45016,172 167.6  189.7  98.8  92.9  106.5
 Quarter 438,79424,31614,479 175.6  214.2  97.3  93.3  104.4
         
2017January9,9077,1982,708 122.8  144.7  106.4  98.9  107.6
 February10,2356,5343,702 135.1  158.7  99.6  98.3  101.3
March12,0377,2534,784 153.0  177.2  103.9  98.1  105.8
April9,8636,8523,011 122.6  167.2  106.2  98.0  108.4
May10,5617,6202,941 139.3  193.4  100.0  94.7  105.7
June10,6537,2743,379 140.6  185.6  99.6  94.0  106.0
July9,1785,6863,492 117.4  140.2  103.2  95.1  108.5
August9,6176,3293,288 126.1  153.9  98.2  93.6  104.9
September10,1886,5343,654 143.8  161.8  93.0  96.1  96.8
October9,6457,0362,609 143.2  180.8  88.3  92.5  95.5
November10,8497,4243,425 151.6  187.0  95.0  96.0  98.9
December10,0537,2162,837 128.3  162.7  98.0  97.7  100.3
        
2018January12,1026,5385,565 159.6  168.8  100.1  95.4  104.9
 February10,4016,4233,978 138.1  163.8  99.4  96.7  102.8
 March11,3407,1284,212 159.1  183.9  94.1  95.5  98.5
 April10,9806,6034,377 155.4  160.9  93.4  101.1  92.4
 May11,8106,9244,886 160.1  182.1  97.4  93.7  103.9
 June12,7668,3524,413 168.9  209.9  99.7  98.1  101.7
 July11,0757,7183,357 144.6  179.8  101.1  105.8  95.6
 August11,5387,2464,293 152.9  176.4  99.6  100.9  98.7
 September11,5508,2503,300 147.1  189.4  103.6  105.2  98.4
 October12,2558,9903,265 164.1  216.5  98.6  100.8  97.8
 November12,9568,8694,087 173.5  219.8  98.9  99.6  99.3
 December11,8728,9112,961 152.1  219.9  103.2  100.6  102.5
      
20194January13,4847,5975,886 179.2  204.6  99.3  91.5  108.5
 February12,4126,4445,968 168.2  171.1  97.4  92.9  104.9
 March11,6747,6164,058 149.5  193.2  103.1  97.1  106.1
 April12,7877,2795,509 170.4  200.7  99.9  93.0  107.4
 May13,7397,1826,558 182.9  189.0  99.2  93.6  105.9
 June12,0617,3044,757 166.7  192.0  95.5  93.8  101.8
 July13,3707,6615,709 180.3  201.1  97.9  93.9  104.3
 August11,7486,6605,088 157.2  183.9  98.6  89.2  110.5
 September12,5047,1295,374 165.2  184.0  99.9  95.5  104.6
 October14,2698,4855,784 195.8  226.2  96.2  92.5  104.1
 November12,8767,7305,146 175.4  205.0  96.9  92.9  104.3
December11,6498,1003,548 155.5  211.4  98.9  94.4  104.7
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. December 2019 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
2017Quarter 132,98320,42812,555 137.6  154.3
 Quarter 230,27022,0488,222 131.1  186.1
 Quarter 329,33219,4989,835 131.4  162.1
 Quarter 430,54421,2149,329 142.2  170.7
2018Quarter 133,99020,31313,677 150.7  170.2
 Quarter 234,69821,77212,926 158.6  184.0
 Quarter 335,04124,51010,531 152.9  195.3
 Quarter 437,21225,49611,716 164.2  208.8
2019Quarter 137,50621,79315,713 165.4  190.9
 Quarter 237,61821,59916,019 168.4  191.6
 Quarter 338,77922,56716,211 174.2  201.0
 Quarter 439,06823,20215,866 176.2  204.3
      
2017January10,7777,0463,731 129.5  140.8
 February11,1627,0234,138 141.8  168.3
 March11,0446,3594,685 141.4  153.9
 April9,8607,4052,454 124.0  181.5
 May10,5597,4563,104 136.6  192.1
 June9,8527,1882,664 132.7  184.7
 July9,7296,0493,680 124.5  151.1
 August9,6906,6643,026 126.4  163.3
 September9,9146,7863,129 143.3  172.0
 October9,8396,7783,061 141.9  172.4
 November9,9626,9792,982 140.5  172.9
 December10,7437,4573,286 144.3  166.7
       
2018January12,5146,9335,581 162.2  172.9
 February11,0146,9934,021 143.5  175.7
 March10,4626,3874,075 146.4  162.0
 April11,1296,8864,244 161.2  170.4
 May11,7726,5705,201 157.2  176.3
 June11,7988,3163,481 157.3  205.3
 July11,9038,0063,897 157.3  188.8
 August11,4317,8353,596 152.1  195.3
 September11,7078,6693,038 149.3  201.9
 October12,2498,3793,870 157.7  199.2
 November12,0738,1343,939 163.4  203.8
 December12,8908,9833,907 171.5  223.4
       
2019January13,6077,5196,088 180.8  210.1
 February13,0087,0215,987 177.2  180.8
 March10,8917,2533,638 138.3  181.9
 April12,7247,3775,347 169.7  204.3
 May13,4037,0606,343 176.7  183.5
 June11,4917,1624,329 158.8  187.1
 July13,8727,7896,083 189.3  204.9
 August12,0587,5774,481 162.2  207.2
 September12,8487,2015,647 171.2  190.9
 October14,3267,9736,352 187.9  207.4
 November12,1227,4734,649 163.2  200.9
December12,6207,7564,864 177.4  204.6
1 Based on seasonal patterns up to December 2019. 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
20182019201820192018201920182019
0Food and live animals97595511,17811,7246496997,8057,877
00Live animals other than animals of Division 0374384404586563262319
01Meat and meat preparations3683823,9393,87087921,0281,017
02Dairy products and birds' eggs2152172,6093,0366476840871
03Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof48395765752226290309
04Cereals and cereal preparations40444405361021171,2771,304
05Vegetables and fruit21263213151041211,3341,362
06Sugars, sugar preparations and honey9121471522226360382
07Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof26293854134952614659
08Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)333234636682651,064898
09Miscellaneous edible products and preparations1401371,9752,0025161736757
1Beverages and tobacco1391681,4441,7137782907965
11Beverages 1391681,4431,7127575861910
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures0010274655
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1421231,9211,67378749391,006
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw65104710000
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 01913253031
23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 0011111112
24Cork and wood10101681731313189211
25Pulp and waste paper526148464660
26Textile fibres and their wastes98132129111316
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)10111461421311171178
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap93781,1699792819259255
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes981311181719221243
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials55831,0228864624445,8625,465
32Coal, coke and briquettes81010511261117569
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials41687197033123364,4194,315
34Gas, natural and manufactured001911125871,103952
35Electric current65179601911165130
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes5665682520276260
41Animal oils and fats455456111616
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils1110101515223218
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes0021933726
5Chemicals and related products6,4096,55385,75893,1031,0601,71219,86916,987
51Organic chemicals2,5042,50726,52430,0382958573,5124,823
52Inorganic chemicals18161872513022336325
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials981371261317241247
54Medical and pharmaceutical products3,0093,08746,20049,65541850611,3287,109
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations5255667,7957,8971061061,3521,388
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)0011112932459424
57Plastics in primary forms30314514506457993928
58Plastics in non-primary forms30374805214450677755
59Chemical materials and products nes2853003,9724,1566165971987
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1471632,3302,3623734245,4135,995
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins233234121920
62Rubber manufactures nes67921052223327366
63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)17173082931823298334
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof11131611837675920996
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products10111581593838513544
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes30414775144749609659
67Iron and steel12141831894462823996
68Non-ferrous metals771191363341580606
69Manufactures of metals nes5149800750941111,3241,475
7Machinery and transport equipment2,6942,27520,01423,7015,2383,67939,84439,212
71Power generating machinery and equipment641458751,026981019871,413
72Machinery specialised for particular industries49717777621501241,8881,625
73Metalworking machinery1228291611149139
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes1381681,9212,0611491441,8421,851
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)3564894,2875,1263774114,5025,232
76Telecommunications and sound equipment1101391,3011,4021922101,8722,135
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts5548515,3818,4362292362,8213,338
78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)21253323744674423,6483,623
79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)1,4013855,1124,4853,5592,00022,13519,857
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1,2251,24015,78316,3257658228,7849,454
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings891491282425296316
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc12231932254550542598
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers2325391416151161
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories20202292391691871,9572,035
85Footwear4439383841426466
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes4615026,2906,7981481701,8431,935
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks1001081,3641,4163653418456
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes6195737,4947,4422892803,1513,486
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere28234463683125451315
Unclassified estimates253596836491541191,8021,652
           
Total11,87211,649140,645152,5728,9118,10091,95289,188
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 2019 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
20182019201820192018201920182019
Austria25294174152525326325
Belgium1,8001,08718,25215,6861071531,6501,654
Bulgaria1011105161234738
Croatia474860211316
Cyprus13234100223
Czech Republic30345705605572729671
Denmark49467376623831510503
Estonia212119121922
Finland14222902771311155181
France4104265,3995,4161,3471,50311,49211,986
Germany95489010,48913,57459571710,5997,532
Great Britain1,2201,08414,02813,5241,6001,81318,36218,746
Greece50130503839456868
Hungary 42263463271828353215
Italy 2323023,6383,8631021251,5861,431
Latvia548575524944
Lithuania233236912112115
Luxembourg7614881226238
Malta3312539111014
Netherlands6346707,7078,7042102243,0063,097
Northern Ireland1521862,0422,1821271181,5171,562
Poland88861,1631,1786367685825
Portugal33414404271317200283
Romania222833238181294108
Slovakia768093775858
Slovenia9984114232738
Spain1691812,5152,352971581,4511,410
Sweden79899241,0006381687711
EU country not specified2111411295151504124521,274
Total EU6,0645,55270,67172,6014,6655,60354,33952,970
  of which United Kingdom1,3721,27016,07015,7061,7271,93019,87920,308
Euro-Zone34,3573,81550,24752,0502,5382,96730,89128,301
        
Australia416483277656106102
Brazil11152933052424245233
Canada651971,3511,5404344531560
China46528205,4728,9304974315,4315,251
India26483284803444563636
Japan2631463,3252,82496861,4491,172
Malaysia181420820238334281,001
Mexico831271,4161,5303028351366
Norway21103492305833987593
Russia31275216123431556401
Saudi Arabia445555363200186
Singapore64517005791033445369
South Africa181527641379115123
South Korea3139591532109105858953
Switzerland5053816,4785,529694047282,158
Taiwan12413193834243376519
Thailand1371501664035438429
Turkey31495656527857612665
USA2,5773,47839,34746,9381,74771917,03813,820
Other countries2854283,9504,6301771992,4302,890
Country unknown51,015842,9512,0871,1061313,9073,973
Total Non-EU5,8086,09769,97479,9724,2472,49737,61236,218
         
Total11,87211,649140,645152,5728,9118,10091,95289,188
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 2019 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
20182019201820192018201920182019
Great Britain1,2201,08414,02813,5241,6001,81318,36218,746
0Food and live animals4053504,1204,0092933103,1783,321
1Beverages and tobacco19172122233135311354
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels32314364071315200216
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials40254903402812303,0902,653
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes111614344342
5Chemicals and related products3183134,0713,9641884432,6612,765
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material61661,0089681441581,9772,141
7Machinery and transport equipment2241602,0702,0843313293,4654,036
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles96951,2491,2242332302,3492,343
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere242535729283601,087875
Other EU24,8434,46856,64359,0763,0653,79035,97734,224
0Food and live animals3743774,4274,6542542943,2413,220
1Beverages and tobacco37564245013435441445
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels66601,0388812628329363
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials143625720264968881,001
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes4446471913182163
5Chemicals and related products3,3302,65336,95138,75737445110,3235,932
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material59679479691251531,9282,177
7Machinery and transport equipment4817446,3776,6761,9472,49115,91118,037
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4444325,7155,9551451661,8632,075
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere34394594367663869810
USA2,5773,47839,34746,9381,74771917,03813,820
0Food and live animals20163163752525283251
1Beverages and tobacco6979614768111817
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels333829425157
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials0010413748754211,113
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes-0000011
5Chemicals and related products1,5972,51428,53335,0372392243,4113,671
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material11121741793031412429
7Machinery and transport equipment4113583,6744,0501,28724511,0526,805
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4644935,8406,3101031071,2531,352
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere345453119136122
China36528205,4728,9304974315,4315,251
0Food and live animals5569753868344555
1Beverages and tobacco01390001
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels345442424032
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials0-511-000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00150000
5Chemicals and related products177721,6181,49210229674389
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material2239243435483531
7Machinery and transport equipment3676192,3475,9282272322,6222,649
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles47546055621221241,4971,523
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0000656970
Rest of World2,5791,79925,15524,1042,0021,34815,14317,147
0Food and live animals1211441,5611,81874671,0571,031
1Beverages and tobacco14151922131111137147
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels38263553153127318337
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials02212020670431,462698
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0023435052
5Chemicals and related products9871,00014,58513,8541585652,7994,229
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material13151632224047613716
7Machinery and transport equipment1,2113955,5454,9631,4463826,7937,685
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1741662,3742,2741611951,8222,161
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere2014259237979191
         
Total11,87211,649140,645152,5728,9118,10091,95289,188
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. December 2019 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 2019 in this publication), -4 (August 2019) and -8 (April 2019) 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 2019 was 71%, 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.

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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