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E-mail: Trade@cso.ie Ciaran.Counihan@cso.ie Orla.McCarthy@cso.ie
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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Goods Exports and Imports

May 2021

Seasonally adjusted
€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
December 202012,8967,6375,259
January 202112,9007,3825,518
February 202112,8177,3595,458
March 202113,3918,0225,369
April 202112,7918,2214,570
May 202113,6078,5885,019

Seasonally adjusted goods trade exports increased by over €800 million in May

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

Seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by €817 million (+6%) to €13,607 million in May 2021 compared with April 2021, according to preliminary figures.

Seasonally adjusted goods imports increased by €367 million (+4%) to €8,588 million leading to an increase of €450 million (+10%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €5,019 million in May 2021 compared with the previous month (see Table 2). Seasonal adjustment compares month-to-month data by removing fluctuations that may occur due to seasonal patterns in trade.

Exports increased by €700 million in May 2021 compared with May 2020

The (unadjusted)* value of goods exports for May 2021 was €13,561 million representing an increase of €690 million (+5%) when compared with May 2020. The value of goods exports for the period January to May 2021 was €66,279 million, a decrease of €2,134 million (-3%) when compared with the first five months of 2020.

Exports of Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus increased by €160 million (+41%) to €555 million in May 2021 compared with May 2020.

Exports of Electrical machinery, appliances and parts increased by €269 million (+34%) to €1,059 million.

Exports of Organic chemicals increased by €152 million (+5%) to €2,925 million.

Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products decreased by €923 million (-17%) to €4,409 million over the same comparative period.

Imports increased by €2.2 billion in May 2021 compared with May 2020

The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for May 2021 was €8,385 million representing an increase of €2,232 million (+36%) when compared with May 2020. The value of goods imports for January to May of 2021 was €38,301 million, which is an increase of €4,832 million (+14%) compared with January to May of 2020.

Imports of Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by €458 million (+177%) to €716 million.

Imports of Organic chemicals increased by €311 million (+34%) to €1,219 million.

Imports of Petroleum increased by €144 million (+111%) to €275 million over the same comparative period.

The value of goods imports for May 2021 excluding SITC 79 (Other transport equipment, including aircraft) was €7,399 million, an increase of €2,005 million (+37%) when compared with the corresponding May 2020 figure of €5,394 million (see Table 3).

Exports to Great Britain increased by over €260 million in May 2021 over May 2020

Exports to Great Britain in May 2021 were €1,209 million, an increase of €262 million (+28%) compared with May 2020. The largest increases were in the exports of Machinery and transport equipment and Food and live animals (see Table 5). Exports to Great Britain accounted for 9% of total exports.

The value of goods exports to Great Britain in the first five months of 2021 was €5,304 million, an increase of €553 million (+12%) on the first five months of 2020.

Imports from Great Britain decreased by €301 million (-24%) to €927 million compared with May 2020. The largest decreases were in the imports of Food and live animals and Machinery and transport equipment (see Table 5).  Imports from Great Britain were 11% of the value of total imports in May 2021.

The value of goods imports from Great Britain for January to May 2021 was €4,246 million, a decrease of €2,312 million (-35%) compared with January to May 2020.

Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports

The EU accounted for €5,483 million (40%) of total goods exports in May 2021 of which €1,825 million went to Germany and €1,253 million went to Belgium. Total EU exports in May 2021 increased by €533 million (+11%) compared with May 2020.

The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €3,866 million (29%) of total exports in May 2021.

The EU accounted for €3,206 million (38%) of total goods imports in May 2021, which is an increase of €1,485 million (+86%) compared with May 2020.

The USA with €1,344 million (16%) and China with €598 million (7%) were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Exports by industrial origin and Imports by main use

Industrial produce accounted for €12,731 million (94%) of total exports in May 2021. This is an increase of €653 million (+5%) when compared with May 2020. There was €5,183 million of this exported to the EU, and €3,825 million to the USA. Agricultural produce accounted for €712 million (5%) of total exports (see Table 6).

Producer capital goods ready for use accounted for €1,504 million (18%) of total imports in May 2021, an increase of €357 million (+31%) when compared with May 2020.

Consumption goods ready for use represented €1,974 million (24%) of total imports, and Materials for further production accounted for €4,798 million (57%) (see Table 7).

*It should be noted that the detailed data described in Paragraph 3 onwards, and the data in Tables 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are not seasonally adjusted. Only the data described in the first two paragraphs and in Table 2 are seasonally adjusted. 

 

From 1st January 2021 all trade in goods with Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) is treated as non-EU trade and must be reported to Revenue’s Customs declaration systems. Prior to this, data on trade with Great Britain were collected via the Intrastat survey. Under the Revised Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland is legally part of the customs territory of the UK, but effectively remains within the EU Single Market for the movement of goods. In practise, this means that trade in goods with Northern Ireland continue to be reported on the Intrastat survey and on VAT returns.

The results reflect both new data collection methods and changes in trading patterns due to Brexit. We are continuing to work on quality improvements as we incorporate the new data sources and detail available to us from January 2021. See link to information note. 

Information note on Revision to Trade with Northern Ireland

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
2017122,78582,94339,842 135.8  168.9  99.3  96.1  103.3
2018140,64591,99148,654 156.2  189.2  99.1  99.5  99.6
2019152,53491,01961,515 168.5  192.7  99.5  96.6  103.0
2020161,94186,92475,017 188.6  194.4  94.4  91.7  103.0
         
2018Quarter 133,84320,10013,743 152.3  172.2  97.9  95.9  102.1
 Quarter 235,55621,88713,669 161.5  184.3  96.8  97.6  99.3
 Quarter 334,16323,22310,940 148.2  181.9  101.4  104.0  97.6
 Quarter 437,08326,78110,302 163.2  218.7  100.2  100.3  99.9
2019Quarter 137,57721,84715,730 166.5  186.7  99.3  96.1  103.3
 Quarter 238,54022,15816,382 170.6  190.1  99.3  95.7  103.8
 Quarter 337,62922,07815,551 166.5  187.9  99.4  96.3  103.3
 Quarter 438,78924,93613,853 170.8  208.5  99.9  97.1  102.8
2020Quarter 144,20621,74622,461 203.5  192.3  95.2  93.0  102.3
 Quarter 237,84818,47319,374 174.3  162.3  95.4  93.5  102.1
 Quarter 340,52720,84119,687 190.4  184.0  93.7  92.4  101.4
 Quarter 439,36025,86513,495 185.0  241.3  93.5  88.0  106.3
2021Quarter 140,25721,79118,466 200.5  198.5  88.7  91.4  97.2
        
2018January12,1026,5415,561 159.6  168.8  100.1  95.4  104.9
 February10,4016,4263,975 138.1  163.8  99.4  96.7  102.8
 March11,3407,1324,208 159.1  183.9  94.1  95.5  98.5
 April10,9806,6064,375 155.4  160.9  93.4  101.1  92.4
 May11,8106,9274,884 160.1  182.1  97.4  93.7  103.9
 June12,7668,3554,410 168.9  209.9  99.7  98.1  101.7
 July11,0757,7213,354 144.6  179.8  101.1  105.8  95.6
 August11,5387,2494,290 152.9  176.4  99.6  100.9  98.7
 September11,5508,2543,297 147.1  189.4  103.6  105.2  98.4
 October12,2558,9943,262 164.1  216.5  98.6  100.8  97.8
 November12,9568,8724,084 173.5  219.8  98.9  99.6  99.3
 December11,8728,9152,957 152.1  219.9  103.2  100.6  102.5
      
2019January13,4857,6625,824 179.1  196.0  99.4  96.3  103.2
 February12,4146,5275,887 164.9  165.8  99.3  96.6  102.8
 March11,6777,6584,019 155.5  198.2  99.1  95.4  103.8
 April12,7917,3415,451 169.7  190.7  99.4  94.8  104.9
 May13,6987,3566,342 182.1  189.2  99.3  95.8  103.6
 June12,0507,4614,589 160.1  190.3  99.3  96.6  102.8
 July13,3647,9785,385 177.2  203.2  99.5  96.2  103.4
 August11,7586,7355,023 156.2  172.8  99.3  96.0  103.5
 September12,5077,3655,143 166.2  187.7  99.5  96.6  102.9
 October14,2888,6145,675 189.4  218.6  99.5  97.0  102.6
 November12,8447,8444,999 169.5  194.7  99.9  97.5  102.5
 December11,6578,4783,179 153.5  212.3  100.2  96.9  103.4
          
20204January14,9827,1087,875 207.1  185.4  95.5  94.5  101.1
 February11,5657,9713,594 166.4  215.7  91.7  91.1  100.7
 March17,6596,66710,992 236.9  175.7  98.4  93.5  105.2
 April11,3375,5715,766 160.3  147.7  93.3  93.0  100.4
 May12,8706,1536,717 180.3  163.8  94.2  92.6  101.7
 June13,6416,7506,891 182.4  175.4  98.7  94.8  104.1
 July13,6128,3785,234 191.8  221.6  93.7  93.1  100.5
 August12,9305,9996,932 182.8  164.5  93.3  89.9  103.8
 September13,9856,4647,521 196.7  166.0  94.0  94.1  99.9
 October12,2327,6064,626 173.8  210.0  92.9  89.2  104.1
 November14,8609,3075,553 211.3  261.4  92.8  87.7  105.8
 December12,2688,9523,316 170.0  252.6  94.8  87.0  108.9
          
20214January13,3366,3207,016 202.0  171.6  87.1  90.8  96.0
 February12,2916,4305,861 181.1  177.9  89.6  89.1  100.5
 March14,6309,0425,589 218.5  246.0  89.5  94.2  95.0
 April12,4628,1254,336 194.7  214.4  84.5  93.4  90.5
 May13,5618,3855,176..........
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 2021 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
2018Quarter 133,21120,28912,922 148.1  172.3
 Quarter 234,88621,89912,987 157.8  184.2
 Quarter 335,69424,75610,938 155.4  193.9
 Quarter 436,78925,01911,770 163.6  206.4
2019Quarter 137,58121,74015,841 165.6  187.9
 Quarter 237,69822,13115,567 167.1  192.4
 Quarter 338,54423,39515,148 171.3  198.4
 Quarter 438,90523,09015,816 171.2  189.9
2020Quarter 142,58622,17320,413 192.7  184.3
 Quarter 237,24518,77818,467 169.9  163.8
 Quarter 340,88021,74219,137 192.6  193.9
 Quarter 439,71723,56416,152 186.2  224.5
2021Quarter 139,10722,76316,345 197.3  204.4
       
2018January11,6496,7744,876 151.2  175.5
 February10,8556,8773,978 146.1  172.1
 March10,7076,6394,068 147.0  169.4
 April11,2737,0074,266 157.9  176.0
 May11,5426,5994,943 154.7  175.7
 June12,0708,2933,778 161.0  201.0
 July11,7148,0733,641 151.9  186.2
 August11,7228,1733,549 155.9  197.0
 September12,2588,5103,748 158.4  198.4
 October11,8988,3443,554 154.2  196.9
 November12,1468,2773,869 162.3  202.8
 December12,7458,3994,347 174.3  219.7
       
2019January12,9787,4795,499 172.3  198.3
 February13,0626,9526,109 175.2  174.8
 March11,5417,3094,232 149.3  190.5
 April12,7127,3875,325 164.6  195.3
 May12,6727,3665,306 172.9  192.3
 June12,3147,3784,936 163.8  189.7
 July13,2938,1625,131 178.1  207.3
 August12,4887,6454,843 165.4  192.0
 September12,7637,5885,174 170.3  195.8
 October14,1107,8316,280 181.7  195.6
 November12,4147,4994,915 163.4  187.3
 December12,3817,7604,621 168.4  186.8
      
2020January13,6727,6216,051 191.0  186.4
 February12,1308,2063,924 174.5  211.0
 March16,7846,34610,438 212.6  155.5
April11,3645,9635,401 157.2  153.2
May12,9016,4496,451 181.5  169.2
June12,9806,3656,615 171.1  168.9
July13,1668,1255,041 186.0  225.2
August14,1137,1226,992 198.3  197.0
September13,6016,4967,105 193.6  159.5
October12,3907,2055,185 172.0  200.3
November14,4318,7235,708 201.1  260.0
December12,8967,6375,259 185.6  213.2
     
2021January12,9007,3825,518 205.5  197.0
 February12,8177,3595,458 191.4  195.7
 March13,3918,0225,369 195.0  220.5
 April12,7918,2214,570 193.5  220.6
 May13,6078,5885,019....
1 Seasonally adjusted data has been revised from January 2010 onwards using X-13-ARIMA methodology, implemented in JDEMETRA+. Previously X-11 methodology was used.
.. Indices not yet available.
Table 3 Goods Exports and Imports classified by commodity1
€million
SITC (Rev 4)ExportsImports
MayMayJan-MayJan-MayMayMayJan-MayJan-May
20202021202020212020202120202021
0Food and live animals9359794,6174,4475725913,2562,804
00Live animals other than animals of Division 03174082132101012256
01Meat and meat preparations2502931,4801,4596269374307
02Dairy products and birds' eggs2962611,1159717469422342
03Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof58532372742223121101
04Cereals and cereal preparations394921922291105477453
05Vegetables and fruit1836128157116100559487
06Sugars, sugar preparations and honey71253502828174132
07Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof35331841744345254216
08Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)26341581826689416444
09Miscellaneous edible products and preparations1881669628275955336267
1Beverages and tobacco731465116248978374339
11Beverages 731465106238375354320
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures-000632119
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1121505817587183398413
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw3422230000
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 00571298
23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 0100310145
24Cork and wood15236710711206696
25Pulp and waste paper461532632414
26Textile fibres and their wastes81146581154
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)911545912166466
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap657432438816169684
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes9948532425130136
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials61703414171663981,5371,803
32Coal, coke and briquettes9155077272753
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials48512673121302751,1731,326
34Gas, natural and manufactured12563177307328
35Electric current4319232393096
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes7935432124123122
41Animal oils and fats6830371177
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils11451822104106
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes0000211210
5Chemicals and related products8,9808,59844,81243,1341,8812,4498,62010,107
51Organic chemicals2,7722,92514,25312,0639081,2193,3344,155
52Inorganic chemicals26361521352234147139
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials71242541924103112
54Medical and pharmaceutical products5,3324,40925,18125,3055877833,2083,742
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations5247823,3953,47599110503492
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)11553937237243
57Plastics in primary forms29241661426582360382
58Plastics in non-primary forms42582313885674301328
59Chemical materials and products nes2473511,3861,5678588429515
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1682108811,0534245382,2752,521
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins23111412712
62Rubber manufactures nes81240722241139177
63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)17321021521928113137
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof101469767171403338
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products1412646610154279238
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes30491522324065235274
67Iron and steel111467744781309372
68Non-ferrous metals61140523556231310
69Manufactures of metals nes706333731489139560662
7Machinery and transport equipment1,5221,90710,3468,9202,0173,13912,15615,351
71Power generating machinery and equipment459640951556194522782
72Machinery specialised for particular industries4762307296115141720683
73Metalworking machinery23914695151
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes115123676683149195752971
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)3313122,0831,6163944302,1152,007
76Telecommunications and sound equipment8177543399140162752871
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts7901,0594,0964,5462587161,2273,016
78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)18321351541403081,3311,688
79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)931432,0886957589854,6865,282
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles9481,4535,9236,6697399723,8514,258
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings894655133195135
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc111382632863204282
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers2214116104744
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories7266382220215785858
85Footwear1310122544150159
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes3955552,4642,707202183948877
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks971265716253644231212
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes4277192,6733,1142103831,3911,693
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere558438221212158
Unclassified estimates25734283177150100758525
           
Total12,87013,56168,41366,2796,1538,38533,46938,301
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. May 2021 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
20202021202020212020202120202021
Austria29261561491832115138
Belgium1,4641,2537,5495,428113354958904
Bulgaria11125854831718
Croatia3618310195
Cyprus221291012
Czech Republic284416127344110275439
Denmark61472482324546234248
Estonia117532369
Finland23251101278106758
France3743452,3172,3703856083,0233,608
Germany1,3181,8256,9657,6053955812,8793,063
Greece233129592576742826
Hungary 1624991504322137125
Italy 3553831,8551,978102179677863
Latvia862726362125
Lithuania471952794245
Luxembourg2174731221615
Malta3416181133
Netherlands6188363,6313,7482618881,4522,093
Poland931234506515862345312
Portugal21291531512025113125
Romania31381532257113350
Slovakia6134460371834
Slovenia9145880231219
Spain1601931,017906127161652719
Sweden52673463682747186291
EU Country not specified2724481273433197274
Total EU2734,9505,48326,15525,4771,7213,20611,51813,513
Euro-Zone44,6495,09724,57523,3671,4572,87310,08311,750
         
Great Britain9471,2094,7515,3041,2279276,5584,246
Northern Ireland1592568921,2351383568241,460
Total UK1,1061,4655,6436,5381,3651,2837,3825,707
         
Australia9268368323784434
Brazil1653121152154772219
Canada1421698765175583200337
China59401,1164,6734,6005795982,5332,929
India25361431563977218303
Japan2412281,8931,20796115678589
Malaysia1917968237262174868
Mexico1151338478792841172158
Norway20201041222871216295
Russia35472082122148179217
Saudi Arabia40433012770146
Singapore45342381772773280140
South Africa20201131588114352
South Korea356026728159101363501
Switzerland1971721,2371,2577081492,0422,059
Taiwan57232321314273206303
Thailand101754713144162214
Turkey63543343173864261434
USA4,3163,86621,62421,1111,0411,3445,3276,379
Other countries3874242,7582,1561633989781,801
Country unknown601312579442864151,245
Total Non-EU (excl UK)6,8146,61336,61534,2643,0673,89514,56919,082
         
Total12,87013,56168,41366,2796,1538,38533,46938,301
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. May 2021 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 From February 2020 the United Kingdom exited the EU, therefore the EU total is made up of the 27 remaining member states. For data comparability over time the EU are shown separately for both the current and prior periods.
4 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.
5 China includes Hong Kong and Macao.
6 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
20202021202020212020202120202021
Great Britain9471,2094,7515,3041,2279276,5584,246
0Food and live animals2342911,3301,2092211321,210597
1Beverages and tobacco1321688222189064
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels273913118113108244
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials91710810782162763738
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes1164321710
5Chemicals and related products4054091,4461,871163123890575
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material4680293378124130755574
7Machinery and transport equipment1222348149413381901,479938
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles63118432522188159915675
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere240122873135731
EU 2724,9505,48326,15525,4771,7213,20611,51813,513
0Food and live animals3293021,5471,4572042001,2001,092
1Beverages and tobacco25271421383925154126
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels50652653442230116152
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials199851081444158257
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes45212412146872
5Chemicals and related products3,7684,10719,14718,4485051,4332,8993,839
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material5055258308106148680775
7Machinery and transport equipment3674362,5502,2766291,0365,0945,810
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles3154482,0172,220119198783982
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere23291231537379367409
USA4,3163,86621,62421,1111,0411,3445,3276,379
0Food and live animals4841154171122888109
1Beverages and tobacco19612012631269
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1189462425
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials00003635378202
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes00000000
5Chemicals and related products3,7812,82417,34516,6923223541,5941,981
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material3517128803248180194
7Machinery and transport equipment1564211,7411,6205467392,4833,262
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles2744992,0312,26682127534577
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere221610654120
China39401,1164,6734,6005795982,5332,929
0Food and live animals6967363308562523
1Beverages and tobacco02340010
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels331718341415
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials00000000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes11240000
5Chemicals and related products1252936698772744180305
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material33141010470273317
7Machinery and transport equipment6645993,2432,8172342901,3911,511
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles75148361563201184618756
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere000050311
Rest of World1,7171,88711,2109,7881,5852,3107,53311,235
0Food and live animals2552781,2231,301129226733983
1Beverages and tobacco1536961372733124140
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels31421602063033163177
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials324414720134157239605
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes12610683740
5Chemicals and related products9019666,2045,2468654953,0573,407
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material345518827757142387662
7Machinery and transport equipment2132161,9991,2652718851,7093,830
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles2212401,0811,0991493041,0011,269
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere13810745162883122
         
Total12,87013,56168,41366,2796,1538,38533,46938,301
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. May 2021 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.
Table 6 Goods Exports by industrial origin and area of destination
€million
Industrial origin and areaExports
MayMayJan-MayJan-May
2020202120202021
Agricultural produce6567123,1613,104
Great Britain and Northern Ireland2152801,1711,150
EU12432411,1921,149
USA5540161165
Rest of World143151637640
     
Forestry and fishing produce7477307385
Great Britain and Northern Ireland182791126
EU14028124150
USA0011
Rest of World152391108
     
Industrial produce12,07812,73164,59062,565
Great Britain and Northern Ireland8341,1504,1885,198
EU14,6445,18324,72524,024
USA4,2603,82521,46020,942
Rest of World2,3402,57214,21812,401
     
Unclassified exports6341354225
     
Total12,87013,56168,41366,279
1EU excluding Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Table 7 Goods Imports by main use and area of origin
€million
Main use and area of originImports
MayMayJan-MayJan-May
2020202120202021
Producers capital goods ready for use1,1481,5047,0907,966
Great Britain and Northern Ireland247101873456
EU13236883,4214,173
USA4554651,5641,916
Rest of World1222501,2321,421
     
Consumption goods ready for use - food drink and tobacco5134932,6822,288
Great Britain and Northern Ireland2542181,317938
EU11981771,079939
USA472031
Rest of World5791266381
Consumption goods ready for use - other1,0441,4815,7946,786
Great Britain and Northern Ireland2273631,4571,388
EU12593791,7241,940
USA162182757957
Rest of World3965561,8552,501
     
Materials for further production - agriculture1692071,0311,115
Great Britain and Northern Ireland4047249218
EU16478377462
USA2030114142
Rest of World4552291294
Materials for further production - other3,1124,59116,01819,584
Great Britain and Northern Ireland5155273,0862,572
EU18051,8054,5485,589
USA3976572,8453,326
Rest of World1,3961,6015,5398,098
     
Unclassified imports168108854562
     
Total6,1538,38533,46938,301
1EU excluding Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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 2021 in this publication), -4 (January 2021) and -8 (September 2020) 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 2021 was 70%, covering an estimated 94% 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

In the April 2020 release the seasonal adjustment methodology for trade in goods data was updated from X-11 to X-13-ARIMA model. The X-13-ARIMA method is implemented in JDEMETRA+, the standard Eurostat software package for Seasonal Adjustment.

X-13-ARIMA incorporates significant new types of modelling capability for the issues commonly faced in seasonal adjustment, and also produces sophisticated diagnostics to help improve seasonal adjustment.

The seasonally adjusted series have been revised back to January 2010 using the new methodology.

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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