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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

May 2018

Seasonally adjusted
€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
December 201710,5087,0513,457
January 201812,4796,8955,585
February 201810,9046,9453,959
March 201810,3766,3024,074
April 201811,1136,7534,359
May 201811,6756,4495,226

Seasonally adjusted goods exports increase in May

figure 1
go to full release

Seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by €563 million (+5%) to €11,675 million in May 2018, according to preliminary figures.

Seasonally adjusted goods imports decreased by €304 million (-5%) to €6,449 million leading to an increase of €867 million (+20%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €5,226 million in May 2018 (see Table 2).

 

Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increase in May

The (unadjusted) value of goods exports for May 2018 was €11,713 million representing an increase of €1,152 million (+11%) when compared with May 2017.  The value of goods exports for the period January to May 2018 was €56,290 million, an increase of €3,726 million (+7%) when compared with the first five months of 2017.

Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €1,564 million (+54%) to €4,439 million in May 2018 compared with May 2017.

Exports of Organic chemicals decreased by €239 million (-12%) to €1,807 million.

Exports of Electrical machinery and apparatus decreased by €113 million (-24%) to €363 million over the same comparative period.

Imports of Mineral fuels increase in May

The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for May 2018 was €6,797 million, representing a decrease of €634 million (-9%) when compared with May 2017.  The value of goods imports for January to May 2018 was €33,186 million, which is a decrease of €90 million (-0.3%) compared with the first five months of 2017.

Mineral fuels imports increased by €84 million (+23%) to €450 million in May 2018 compared with May 2017. 

Imports of Other transport equipment, including aircraft decreased by €696 million (-37%) to €1,203 million.

Imports of Machinery specialised for particular industries increased by €65 million (+51%) to €195 million over the same comparative period.

The value of goods imports for May 2018 excluding SITC 79 (Other transport equipment, including aircraft) was €5,594 million, an increase of €62 million (+1%) when compared with the corresponding May 2017 figure of €5,531 million.

Exports to Great Britain decrease in May

Exports to Great Britain decreased by €134 million (-10%) to €1,182 million in May 2018 compared with May 2017.  This was largely due to a decrease in exports of Chemicals and related products with a smaller decrease in exports of Machinery and transport equipment

Exports to Great Britain for the period January to May 2018 were €5,527 million, a decrease of €508 million (-8%) when compared to the first five months of 2017.

Imports from Great Britain decreased by €97 million (-6%) to €1,522 million compared with May 2017.  There was a decrease in the imports of Chemicals and related products, with an increase in the imports of Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and a smaller increase in imports of Machinery and transport equipment (see Table 5).

Imports from Great Britain for the period January to May 2018 were €7,258 million, an increase of €208 million (+3%) when compared to the first five months of 2017.

Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports

The EU accounted for €5,668 million (48%) of total goods exports in May 2018 of which €1,363 million went to Belgium and €701 million went to Germany. Total EU exports in May increased by €51 million (+1%) compared with May 2017.

The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €3,205 million (27%) of total exports in May 2018.

The EU accounted for €4,193 (62%) of total goods imports in May 2018, which is an increase of €130 million (+3%) compared with May 2017.

The USA with €1,164 million (17%) and China with €354 million (5%) were the main non-EU sources of imports.

NOTE: From the October 2017 External trade release, the CSO have expanded the range of detailed trade data available on CSO’s StatBank.  The extra detail includes further breakdown of trade at SITC2 level by country and area.  The countries and area for which this detail is available are those included in Table 4 of the release.  The data is available on a month by month basis for the periods January 2015 to the latest month of release and on an annual basis from 2010 to 2017.  Links to these data are contained within the body of the release.  The latest month's data should be treated as provisional.  For queries on trade with countries not included in the list, please contact trade@cso.ie.
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
2017122,49279,03743,454 135.8  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 132,14119,19612,945 137.0  160.2  103.3  98.4  104.9
 Quarter 231,04121,1589,883 134.2  182.1  101.9  95.6  106.7
 Quarter 328,98317,83011,153 129.1  152.0  98.1  94.9  103.4
 Quarter 430,32720,8539,474 141.0  176.8  93.8  95.4  98.2
2018Quarter 133,61319,91313,700 157.8  173.9  93.8  94.1  99.7
          
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
         
20174January9,9045,8074,097 122.8  144.7  106.4  98.9  107.6
 February10,2006,3323,867 135.1  158.7  99.6  98.3  101.3
March12,0377,0574,980 153.0  177.2  103.9  98.1  105.8
April9,8636,6493,213 122.6  167.2  106.2  98.0  108.4
May10,5617,4313,131 139.3  193.4  100.0  94.7  105.7
June10,6187,0783,539 140.6  185.6  99.6  94.0  106.0
July9,1785,4063,773 117.4  140.2  103.2  95.1  108.5
August9,6176,0923,525 126.1  153.9  98.2  93.6  104.9
September10,1886,3323,856 143.8  161.8  93.0  96.1  96.8
October9,5856,7842,801 143.2  180.8  88.3  92.5  95.5
November10,9097,2463,663 151.6  187.0  95.0  96.0  98.9
December9,8336,8233,010 128.3  162.7  98.0  97.7  100.3
        
20184January12,0696,5025,567 166.1  170.9  95.9  93.7  102.3
 February10,2976,3793,918 143.0  167.2  95.1  94.0  101.1
 March11,2477,0334,215 164.3  183.5  90.3  94.5  95.6
 April10,9646,4764,487 161.6  162.1  89.5  98.4  91.0
 May11,7136,7974,917 165.6  180.2  93.3  92.9  100.4
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. May 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 132,94118,67814,263 137.6  154.3
 Quarter 230,23821,4518,786 131.1  186.1
 Quarter 329,33218,74010,593 131.4  162.1
 Quarter 430,30320,3989,905 142.2  170.7
2018Quarter 133,75920,14213,618 156.2  172.0
       
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
       
2017January10,7745,6845,091 129.5  140.8
 February11,1236,8074,316 141.8  168.3
 March11,0446,1884,857 141.4  153.9
 April9,8607,1872,673 124.0  181.5
 May10,5597,2703,289 136.6  192.1
 June9,8196,9942,824 132.7  184.7
 July9,7295,7503,979 124.5  151.1
 August9,6906,4143,276 126.4  163.3
 September9,9146,5763,338 143.3  172.0
 October9,7786,5363,243 141.9  172.4
 November10,0176,8123,205 140.5  172.9
 December10,5087,0513,457 144.3  166.7
       
2018January12,4796,8955,585 168.8  175.0
 February10,9046,9453,959 148.6  179.4
 March10,3766,3024,074 151.2  161.7
 April11,1136,7534,359 167.6  171.7
 May11,6756,4495,226 162.6  174.5
1 Based on seasonal patterns up to May 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
MayMayJan-MayJan-MayMayMayJan-MayJan-May
20172018201720182017201820172018
0Food and live animals9849384,4444,4176226702,8953,074
0Live animals other than animals of Division 03181912598796452
1Meat and meat preparations3053171,4981,5798686391420
2Dairy products and birds' eggs2272398339417472320356
3Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof56482472562922119111
4Cereals and cereal preparations333017216297106434472
5Vegetables and fruit2824125143119122527536
6Sugars, sugar preparations and honey141367603435155155
7Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof32361571584449236241
8Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)252912913968100346406
9Miscellaneous edible products and preparations2451831,0928816469303326
1Beverages and tobacco1101035215018168330302
11Beverages 1101035195007165302293
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures0021102289
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1471767468078277389377
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw10955470000
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 1143441414
23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 00101154
24Cork and wood1516637114116565
25Pulp and waste paper653126542421
26Textile fibres and their wastes111155561165
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)1215525817127063
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap811064304872224103103
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes111355601920102102
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials57603863573674501,9322,262
32Coal, coke and briquettes11114955167111104
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials41282932242983551,5001,666
34Gas, natural and manufactured34885178305431
35Electric current31735712111662
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes7546312224117111
41Animal oils and fats5441261196
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils115419219996
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes00012199
5Chemicals and related products6,0967,41529,35635,4981,6561,5917,4118,077
51Organic chemicals2,0461,8078,67710,7943393151,5171,310
52Inorganic chemicals111759943036137139
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials381315357241910491
54Medical and pharmaceutical products2,8754,43915,14019,3908628443,8034,674
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations6957003,4413,164131116581542
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)11363136217226
57Plastics in primary forms28401511829287396417
58Plastics in non-primary forms47442162136159260271
59Chemical materials and products nes3543531,5151,6008578395407
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1972029399574494522,0412,195
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins3215112188
62Rubber manufactures nes7833372830126137
63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)22291151322526116117
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof141463657373353367
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products141466704342190204
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes44432011945247222228
67Iron and steel161669776866300346
68Non-ferrous metals7942484951226254
69Manufactures of metals nes6867335323109115500534
7Machinery and transport equipment1,4951,3939,4526,9353,2482,58613,99212,567
71Power generating machinery and equipment578828338610375432372
72Machinery specialised for particular industries8056275302129195586709
73Metalworking machinery32131116115658
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes167162791765135159671721
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)3063311,3901,5383072991,4221,422
76Telecommunications and sound equipment84121406476131117625696
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts4763633,4841,9852272211,0691,109
78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)28291391393013071,7051,701
79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)2942422,6711,3321,8991,2037,4275,778
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1,3671,3346,3196,3796976993,2813,303
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings131159652322108115
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc181685774544198211
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers2211913135757
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories221511780139140703694
85Footwear3318163131158163
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes5635392,5882,494154142702728
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks1201145605734632186160
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes6276342,8813,0642452751,1681,175
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere27201181113441168199
Unclassified estimates27568239297173138720719
           
Total10,56111,71352,56456,2907,4316,79733,27633,186
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. May 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
MayMayJan-MayJan-MayMayMayJan-MayJan-May
20172018201720182017201820172018
Austria39261611612726125137
Belgium1,3031,3635,7737,313131184625672
Bulgaria893839231012
Croatia4515181125
Cyprus321012018119
Czech Republic33421602303355164252
Denmark50622523064144178221
Estonia22991557
Finland29341461432297858
France4234182,1032,2088496254,6553,272
Germany9017014,3263,9355377342,9214,159
Great Britain1,3161,1826,0355,5271,6181,5227,0507,258
Greece2328117161552721
Hungary 242410412383850135
Italy 2234251,0531,380157107739797
Latvia571926332619
Lithuania2310147113949
Luxembourg7124065351227
Malta348131011144
Netherlands4926422,4322,8802003299961,265
Northern Ireland164172781797113107520538
Poland106914713985553255237
Portugal5540200182201611285
Romania3128127139884234
Slovakia472330441720
Slovenia873035221512
Spain2462011,1571,008136175580735
Sweden58683163473746213309
EU country not specified2551730980425782117
Total EU5,6175,66826,23227,6674,0634,19319,54520,480
  of which United Kingdom1,4801,3546,8166,3241,7311,6297,5717,796
Euro-Zone33,7663,96617,61319,6632,0982,25910,93911,362
         
Australia7278338351863547
Brazil16157416223177779
Canada8212748255539111240253
China44654692,5451,9993893541,7491,949
India24311541385649289277
Japan2053709361,477118115557572
Malaysia142176852633129145
Mexico1181386475852025140143
Norway653118017213155579347
Russia57542102052028184225
Saudi Arabia65573512341133
Singapore8255296286142880167
South Africa19319312111114343
South Korea53502542556350418269
Switzerland6466462,3823,1255140263225
Taiwan2740961623132108120
Thailand141074603532171161
Turkey56662412876045263228
USA2,4793,20515,07516,1881,9721,1647,0695,732
Other countries3583861,6571,7351822139411,162
Country unknown527165172440117198392558
Total Non-EU4,9446,04526,33228,6233,3682,60413,73212,707
         
Total10,56111,71352,56456,2907,4316,79733,27633,186
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. May 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 SITCMayMayJan-MayJan-MayMayMayJan-MayJan-May
20172018201720182017201820172018
Great Britain1,3161,1826,0355,5271,6181,5227,0507,258
0Food and live animals3093181,5231,5752382501,1601,233
1Beverages and tobacco181981772423104100
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels434416919018198082
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials11171761051832861,0021,284
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes1257442020
5Chemicals and related products5263962,1681,7524732441,4291,114
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material8391395412156169742796
7Machinery and transport equipment1861679157782442681,2361,348
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles10096474489181179856866
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere39331281419879420414
Other EU24,3014,48620,19722,1402,4442,67112,49413,222
0Food and live animals3763791,6101,7182742781,2571,322
1Beverages and tobacco33341521524333162143
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels67943984282921136124
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials7271051213055122350
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes53392214167569
5Chemicals and related products2,6982,88912,21314,5174938282,5094,338
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material7678364385158158728783
7Machinery and transport equipment5284892,9022,3041,1671,0606,4214,991
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4634432,2532,279150144721714
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere47501612148778363387
USA2,4793,20515,07516,1881,9721,1647,0695,732
0Food and live animals442620910822248699
1Beverages and tobacco46392212061185
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels532018432319
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials015294734011525
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0-000000
5Chemicals and related products1,5452,3699,19511,9454672862,3601,452
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material2113109683939168173
7Machinery and transport equipment2731992,8721,4211,2816693,7673,389
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles5305372,3942,357115131498514
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere1442718894456
China34654692,5451,9993893541,7491,949
0Food and live animals9159394319331716
1Beverages and tobacco00210000
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels643422422018
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials000210000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00100000
5Chemicals and related products711833905902932130152
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material3512234435187190
7Machinery and transport equipment2421631,5007631971758701,027
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles5254212260106100498520
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0000652726
Rest of World2,0002,3728,71210,4361,0071,0864,9135,025
0Food and live animals16415670969785114374404
1Beverages and tobacco1211656614105653
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels27311241492831129134
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials3917563120109693603
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0011442122
5Chemicals and related products1,2561,5775,3906,6941932019821,020
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material131560705151216253
7Machinery and transport equipment2653751,2631,6693604131,6981,812
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles223204985994144145710689
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere224134773435
         
Total10,56111,71352,56456,2907,4316,79733,27633,186
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. May 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 (April 2018 in this publication), -4 (January 2018) and -8 (September 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 May 2018 was 64%, covering an estimated 92% of the total value of intra-EU trade (these response rates will have increased by the next time data for May 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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