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For more information on this release:
E-mail: Trade@cso.ie Orla McCarthy (+353) 1 498 4091 Ciarán Counihan (+353) 1 498 4215
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

January 2019

Seasonally adjusted
€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
August 201811,3877,7653,622
September 201811,6968,4973,199
October 201812,1618,0724,090
November 201812,1317,6054,526
December 201812,9128,7284,184
January 201913,7036,5207,183

Large increase in trade surplus in January

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

Preliminary figures for January 2019 show that seasonally adjusted goods exports grew by €791 million (+6%) to €13,703 million, compared with €12,912 million in December 2018.

Seasonally adjusted imports decreased by €2,208 million (-25%) to €6,520 million leading to an increase of €2,999 million (+72%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €7,183 million in January 2019 (see Table 2).

Increase in exports of Organic chemicals

The (unadjusted) value of goods exports for January 2019 was €13,579 million representing an increase of €1,476 million (+12%) when compared with January 2018.
 
Exports of Organic chemicals increased by €1,127 million (+45%) to €3,635 million. This represents 27% of all goods exported in January 2019.
 
Exports of Office machines and automatic data processing machines increased by €96 million (+23%) to €506 million.
 
Exports of Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by €134 million (+30%) to €579 million.

Decrease in imports of Medical and pharmaceutical products

The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for January 2019 was €6,588 million, an increase of €50 million (+1%) compared with January 2018.
 
Imports of Medical and pharmaceutical products decreased by €506 million (-48%) to €544 million compared with the same month last year.
 
Imports of Other transport equipment, including aircraft increased by €231 million (+31%) to €977 million.
 
The value of goods imports for January 2019 excluding SITC79 (Other Transport equipment, including aircraft) was €5,611 million, a decrease of €181 million (-3%) when compared with the corresponding January 2018 figure.

Imports from Great Britain increase in January

Imports from Great Britain increased by €177 million (+12%) in January 2019 to €1,631 million compared with January 2018. Imports from Great Britain accounted for a quarter (25%) of total goods imports in January 2019.
 
The biggest increases were in the imports of Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, Chemicals and related products and Machinery and Transport equipment.
 
Exports to Great Britain decreased by €22 million (-2%) during the same period. This accounts for 9% of total goods exports in January 2019.
 
The biggest changes were an increase in the exports of Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and a decrease in the exports of Chemicals and related products.

Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports

The EU accounted for €7,073 million (52%) of total goods exports in January 2019 of which €2,216 million went to Belgium and €1,183 million to Germany. The USA was the largest export destination accounting for €3,794 million (28%) of total exports in January 2019.

Goods from the EU made up 61% of the total value of imports in January 2019. Total imports from the EU of €4,036 million represents an increase of €298 million (+8%) on the same period in 2018. The USA with €954 million (14%) and China with €465 million (7%) were the largest 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
2017122,78582,95639,829 135.8  168.9  99.3  96.1  103.3
2018140,57690,31550,261..........
         
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 132,17920,98511,194 137.0  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 133,84520,08813,757 159.0  175.2  93.7  94.2  99.5
 Quarter 235,56121,47114,091 168.3  183.3  92.8  96.4  96.4
 Quarter 334,09223,14710,945 155.3  187.7  96.5  101.0  95.5
 Quarter 437,07825,61011,468 171.4  214.6  95.9  98.5  97.4
         
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
         
20174January9,9077,1982,708 122.8  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
        
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
 May11,8116,9244,886 167.0  185.6  93.2  92.1  101.2
 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
 September11,5408,0873,453 153.0  191.3  99.2  103.4  95.9
 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
 December11,8928,6583,234 166.5  220.4  96.6  98.1  98.5
         
2019January413,5796,5886,991..........
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. January 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
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 132,98320,42812,555 137.6  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 133,99220,31313,679 157.4  173.2
 Quarter 234,70521,36513,340 165.3  183.1
 Quarter 334,96924,43610,533 160.3  201.6
 Quarter 437,20424,40412,800 172.8  205.0
       
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
       
2017January10,7777,0463,731 129.5  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
       
2018January12,5156,9335,582 169.4  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
 May11,7726,5705,202 163.9  179.8
 June11,7827,9093,873 163.7  196.2
 July11,8878,1743,713 164.8  198.5
 August11,3877,7653,622 160.8  202.3
 September11,6968,4973,199 155.4  203.9
 October12,1618,0724,090 163.5  198.4
 November12,1317,6054,526 167.3  192.7
 December12,9128,7284,184 187.7  224.0
       
2019January13,7036,5207,183....
1 Based on seasonal patterns up to December 2018. Accordingly all values in this table may have been revised.
Table 3 Goods Exports and Imports classified by commodity1
€million
SITC (Rev 4)ExportsImports
JanuaryJanuaryJanuaryJanuary
2018201920182019
0Food and live animals813850616606
 00Live animals other than animals of Division 0318231316
 01Meat and meat preparations2973028781
 02Dairy products and birds' eggs1401886752
 03Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof41542025
 04Cereals and cereal preparations344695110
 05Vegetables and fruit432410395
 06Sugars, sugar preparations and honey14113225
 07Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof28325155
 08Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)27288285
 09Miscellaneous edible products and preparations1701436763
1Beverages and tobacco1111285263
 11Beverages 1111285160
 12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures0013
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1501676785
 21Hides, skins and furskins, raw11800
 22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 1234
 23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 0011
 24Cork and wood12151218
 25Pulp and waste paper7536
 26Textile fibres and their wastes111111
 27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)11111214
 28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap841022027
 29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes12111514
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials66173509620
 32Coal, coke and briquettes1111476
 33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials3939371363
 34Gas, natural and manufactured1080129
 35Electric current1512212122
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes652222
 41Animal oils and fats5412
 42Fixed vegetable fats and oils111919
 43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes0021
5Chemicals and related products7,9588,9801,7531,263
 51Organic chemicals2,5083,635271262
 52Inorganic chemicals14173523
 53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials12121821
 54Medical and pharmaceutical products4,3944,3741,050544
 55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations644539105114
 56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)015065
 57Plastics in primary forms35378578
 58Plastics in non-primary forms45425862
 59Chemical materials and products nes3053248194
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material183192450493
 61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins2222
 62Rubber manufactures nes982731
 63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)25272525
 64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof13147882
 65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products14134346
 66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes37324854
 67Iron and steel14186273
 68Non-ferrous metals9106452
 69Manufactures of metals nes6070103127
7Machinery and transport equipment1,4081,7192,1712,509
 71Power generating machinery and equipment76607875
 72Machinery specialised for particular industries6061119124
 73Metalworking machinery321311
 74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes148146144171
 75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)411506293393
 76Telecommunications and sound equipment83149147128
 77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts445579231263
 78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)2622402367
 79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)157194745977
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1,3321,268692757
 81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings13242729
 82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc17144450
 83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers221213
 84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories1716146159
 85Footwear433337
 87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes496497150153
 88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks1181253844
 89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes666586242272
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere28364040
Unclassified estimates24861164130
       
Total12,10313,5796,5386,588
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. January 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
JanuaryJanuaryJanuaryJanuary
2018201920182019
Austria40352725
Belgium1,4172,216124125
Bulgaria9932
Croatia4411
Cyprus22100
Czech Republic53644751
Denmark63574345
Estonia2111
Finland21291113
France477485372756
Germany7661,183707613
Great Britain1,1821,1591,4541,631
Greece408845
Hungary 3023714
Italy 275341253105
Latvia8645
Lithuania231212
Luxembourg101858
Malta3411
Netherlands594659240227
Northern Ireland152181119106
Poland821335082
Portugal32291617
Romania324166
Slovakia5655
Slovenia6922
Spain205164129108
Sweden75928347
EU Country not specified26121320
Total EU5,5897,0733,7374,036
  of which United Kingdom1,3331,3411,5731,737
Euro-Zone33,9035,2961,9122,030
     
Australia10475128
Brazil27241418
Canada102466981
China4408555436465
India28284688
Japan339309119109
Malaysia18212955
Mexico1171142829
Norway32223592
Russia41595557
Saudi Arabia293311
Singapore70422542
South Africa222987
South Korea62426161
Switzerland7507754959
Taiwan43172234
Thailand1673743
Turkey62545761
USA3,8663,7941,414954
Other countries306365250192
Country unknown572963497
Total Non-EU6,5146,5062,8002,552
     
Total12,10313,5796,5386,588
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. January 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 SITCJanuaryJanuaryJanuaryJanuary
  2018201920182019
Great Britain1,1821,1591,4541,631
0Food and live animals294307237252
1Beverages and tobacco16161521
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels39341518
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials22143257347
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes1144
5Chemicals and related products434281230250
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material7879157173
7Machinery and transport equipment162159261303
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles111108181194
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere25309772
Other EU24,4085,9132,2832,404
0Food and live animals309332260241
1Beverages and tobacco27352432
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels75872128
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials23299442
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes531414
5Chemicals and related products2,8764,218811458
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material7678165171
7Machinery and transport equipment5056396581,183
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles479448153160
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere33448276
USA3,8663,7941,414954
0Food and live animals23282328
1Beverages and tobacco526211
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels4246
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials2002290
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0000
5Chemicals and related products3,0112,947465224
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material15183634
7Machinery and transport equipment265262756450
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles47246896111
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere461211
China3 408555436465
0Food and live animals525445
1Beverages and tobacco0000
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels7443
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials0000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0000
5Chemicals and related products1191093438
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material424457
7Machinery and transport equipment150340223233
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles7744121125
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0065
Rest of World2,2402,1589511,133
0Food and live animals1361289381
1Beverages and tobacco1615119
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels26392331
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials11137141
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0044
5Chemicals and related products1,5181,423213294
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material11144958
7Machinery and transport equipment326319273340
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles192200141167
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere141877
      
Total12,10313,5796,5386,588
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. January 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 (December 2018 in this publication), -4 (September 2018) and -8 (May 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 January 2019 was 62%, covering an estimated 94% of the total value of intra-EU trade (these response rates will have increased by the next time data for January 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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