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For more information on this release:
E-mail: Trade@cso.ie Ciaran Counihan +353 1 4984215 Bernie Ryan +353 1 4984235
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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, 16 May 2017, 11am

Goods Exports and Imports

March 2017

Seasonally adjusted
€ million
 ExportsImportsSurplus
October 201610,2525,6374,615
November 201610,3196,6703,649
December 201610,1326,3663,767
January 201710,2715,2914,980
February 201710,5766,0824,494
March 201710,1505,0995,051

Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increase in March

Goods Exports and Imports seasonally adjusted

The (unadjusted) value of goods exports for March 2017 was €11,062 million representing an increase of €958 million (+10%) when compared with March 2016.  The value of goods exports for the period January to March 2017 was €30,201 million, an increase of €2,901 million (+11%) when compared with the first quarter of 2016.

Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €720 million (+30%) to €3,087 million in March 2017 compared with March 2016. 

Exports of Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by €350 million (+60%) to €931 million.

Exports of Food and live animals increased by €125 million (+14%) to €1,000 million over the same comparative period.

Imports of Petroleum increase in March

The (unadjusted) value of goods imports for March 2017 was €5,815 million representing a decrease of €992 million (-15%) when compared with March 2016.  The value of goods imports for January to March was €16,878 million, which is a decrease of €328 million (-2%) compared with the first three months of 2016.

Petroleum imports increased by €128 million (+65%) in March 2017 compared with March 2016.

Imports of Road vehicles decreased by €61million (-17%) to €307 million.

Imports of Chemicals and related products increased by €211 million (+18%) over the same comparative period.

The value of goods imports for March 2017 excluding SITC 79 (Other transport equipment, including aircraft) was €5,140 million, an increase of €324 million (+7%) when compared with the corresponding March 2016 figure of €4,817 million.

Seasonally adjusted exports and imports decrease in March

Seasonally adjusted goods exports decreased by €426 million (-4%) to €10,150 in March 2017, compared with February 2017 according to preliminary figures.

Seasonally adjusted goods imports decreased by €983 million (-16%) to €5,099 million leading to an increase of €557 million (+12%) in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €5,051 million in March 2017 (see Table 2).

Imports from Great Britain increase in March

Imports from Great Britain increased by €76 million (+6%) to €1,371 million in March 2017 compared with March 2016.  The main increase was in the imports of Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (see Table 5).  Imports from Great Britain for the first quarter of 2017 increased by €77 million (+2%) compared with the first three months of 2016.

Exports to Great Britain decreased by €9 million (-1%) in March 2017 compared with March 2016 to €1,129 million.  There were small increases in the exports of Food and live animals and a decrease in the exports of Machinery and transport equipment.  Exports to Great Britain increased in January to March by €124 million (+4%) compared with the first three months of 2016.

Geographic breakdown of goods exports and imports

The EU accounted for €5,453 million (49%) of total goods exports in March 2017, an increase of €450 million (+9%) compared with March 2016.  The biggest EU destination for exports was Belgium, which accounted for €1,388 million.

The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,978 million (27%) of total exports in March 2017.  Exports to Non-EU countries increased by €508 million (+10%) in March 2017 to €5,609 million compared with March 2016.

The EU accounted for 64% of the value of goods imports in March 2017.  Total imports of €3,737 million represents a decrease of €234 million (-6%) compared with March 2016.

The USA with €774 million (13%) and China with €354 million (6%) were the main non-EU sources of imports.  The total value of imports from non-EU countries in March 2017 was €2,078 million, a decrease of €758 million (-27%) compared with March 2016.

 

NOTE on revised data: This release includes significant revisions to 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 have been incorporated into the Trade data back to 2000. The technical note (http://www.cso.ie/en/methods/externaltrade/) 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. 

 

 

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
2000 83,98654,96029,026 86.7  107.8  106.5  104.7  101.7
2001 92,73056,45536,275 104.6  116.0  97.5  99.9  97.6
2002 94,05955,10638,953 110.7  122.0  93.4  92.7  100.8
2003 82,58548,51534,070 99.2  112.6  91.6  88.4  103.5
2004 84,94951,55733,392 101.9  108.7  91.7  97.4  94.1
2005 87,17358,46328,710 101.3  125.7  94.6  95.5  99.1
2006 87,49763,83323,664 99.4  132.4  96.9  99.0  97.8
2007 90,58065,93924,640 102.9  141.8  96.8  95.5  101.4
2008 88,50359,33629,168 93.2  126.8  104.4  96.1  108.6
2009 87,58648,20339,382 103.5  108.3  93.1  91.4  101.8
2010 90,92448,69542,229 100.0  100.0  100.0  100.0  100.0
2011 93,19153,03540,155 106.1  110.4  96.6  98.7  97.9
2012 93,50756,17937,328 100.6  120.2  102.2  96.0  106.5
2013 89,18255,78733,394 101.1  123.5  97.0  92.8  104.6
2014 92,61662,15830,458 103.8  130.1  98.2  98.1  100.1
2015 112,40770,11142,296 115.5  143.6  106.8  100.3  106.5
2016 117,60872,08745,521..........
          
2014Quarter 121,76515,2276,538 102.1  129.8  93.7  96.5  97.2
 Quarter 223,55914,7458,814 105.9  127.7  97.8  94.9  103.0
 Quarter 323,27115,3457,926 103.6  127.5  98.9  98.9  100.0
 Quarter 424,02116,8407,180 103.3  139.1  102.3  99.5  102.9
2015Quarter 126,04316,8649,179 110.9  140.2  103.3  98.7  104.6
 Quarter 228,70516,98311,721 115.6  136.5  109.3  102.4  106.9
 Quarter 327,47716,73810,739 115.3  136.5  104.8  100.9  103.9
 Quarter 430,18319,52610,657 124.4  172.9  106.6  94.3  113.0
2016Quarter 127,30017,20610,094 123.5  153.2  97.5  92.2  105.7
 Quarter 229,92618,42011,505 133.4  154.7  98.7  97.7  101.0
 Quarter 329,87617,54912,327 131.1  147.2  100.2  97.2  103.2
 Quarter 430,50618,91111,595 132.7  157.7  101.2  97.6  103.6
2017Quarter 130,20116,87813,323..........
          
2014January7,0855,1811,904 99.6  131.8  93.9  96.9  96.9
 February6,9594,6112,348 98.9  116.3  92.9  97.7  95.1
 March7,7205,4342,286 107.9  141.3  94.4  94.8  99.6
 April7,3224,8662,455 102.7  129.3  94.1  92.7  101.5
 May8,1584,9723,187 109.6  130.1  98.2  94.2  104.2
 June8,0804,9073,172 105.4  123.6  101.2  97.9  103.4
 July7,2525,2671,984 96.3  133.1  99.4  97.5  101.9
 August7,7734,7952,978 104.8  118.7  97.9  99.6  98.3
 September8,2475,2832,964 109.6  130.8  99.3  99.6  99.7
 October7,9325,5862,347 102.7  139.0  101.9  99.0  102.9
 November7,8645,5842,280 99.1  138.2  104.7  99.5  105.2
 December8,2245,6712,553 108.1  140.0  100.4  99.8  100.6
          
2015January8,2905,3682,922 107.1  133.2  102.1  99.3  102.9
 February8,3485,1363,212 107.7  131.0  102.3  96.6  105.8
 March9,4056,3603,045 117.7  156.4  105.5  100.2  105.2
 April9,6145,6373,977 115.9  133.3  109.5  104.2  105.0
 May9,1805,5353,645 110.3  129.2  109.8  105.6  104.0
 June9,9115,8114,099 120.4  147.0  108.6  97.4  111.5
 July9,4135,7653,648 116.0  139.9  107.1  101.5  105.5
 August8,6265,2093,416 112.9  124.0  100.8  103.6  97.4
 September9,4385,7633,675 117.2  145.5  106.3  97.6  108.9
 October10,7546,3364,418 128.7  171.0  110.1  93.7  117.4
 November10,1796,1963,983 129.2  164.1  104.0  95.5  108.9
 December9,2516,9942,256 115.4  183.7  105.8  93.8  112.8
       
20164January8,7615,0313,730 125.0  138.3  92.5  89.7  103.2
 February8,4345,3683,066 108.5  140.1  102.6  94.5  108.6
 March10,1046,8073,297 137.1  181.3  97.3  92.5  105.2
 April9,9215,4804,442 130.1  140.2  100.7  96.3  104.6
 May9,2736,2992,974 127.8  159.7  95.8  97.2  98.5
 June10,7326,6424,090 142.4  164.2  99.5  99.7  99.8
 July9,2985,6263,672 124.5  139.8  98.5  99.2  99.4
 August10,3245,5914,734 136.3  143.6  100.0  96.0  104.2
 September10,2546,3323,921 132.5  158.2  102.1  96.3  106.0
 October10,0965,5484,547 133.6  134.5  99.7  98.9  100.8
 November11,0927,0484,044 145.4  178.4  100.7  97.4  103.4
 December9,3196,3153,004 119.2  160.3  103.1  96.6  106.7
          
20174January9,4415,4054,036..........
February9,6985,6584,040..........
 March11,0625,8155,247..........
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000, see background notes.
2 Monthly data have been rescaled to make their average equal to the annual.
   Indices have been rebased to the year 2010. See background notes.
3 Export unit value index divided by Import unit value index.
4 Revised. March 2017 is based on current Intrastat response levels. See background notes.
.. Indices are not yet available.
Table 2 Goods Exports and Imports seasonally adjusted1 series
PeriodValueVolume index
ExportsImportsTrade surplusBase year 2010=100
€m€m€mExportsImports
2013Quarter 121,73113,4748,257 93.8  121.8
 Quarter 222,02313,9668,057 102.1  122.5
 Quarter 322,93514,0938,841 105.9  123.8
 Quarter 422,66014,3198,342 104.5  127.0
2014Quarter 121,80714,4487,359 102.0  124.2
Quarter 223,18314,8348,349 105.1  128.0
Quarter 323,36916,2647,105 104.0  134.1
Quarter 424,62416,8047,820 105.5  138.8
2015Quarter 126,28616,06210,224 112.8  132.4
 Quarter 228,46017,27111,189 113.8  136.4
 Quarter 327,21117,6129,599 114.5  145.2
 Quarter 430,82319,20511,618 126.7  172.4
2016Quarter 127,36116,29111,070 123.7  145.0
 Quarter 229,38518,57610,810 130.8  156.4
 Quarter 329,73918,46011,279 130.3  155.7
 Quarter 430,70318,67312,030 134.3  154.6
2017Quarter 130,99616,47114,525....
      
2013January6,9774,4572,520 93.6  124.6
 February7,1704,5972,574 93.3  122.4
March7,5844,4203,164 94.6  118.3
April7,5314,6032,928 98.8  121.5
May7,2464,5892,657 101.2  121.4
June7,2464,7752,472 106.2  124.7
July7,5684,6662,902 110.5  122.2
August7,8764,9322,944 105.0  128.9
September7,4904,4952,995 102.3  120.2
October7,5014,7652,736 105.7  125.9
November7,2334,9082,325 99.4  130.7
December7,9274,6463,281 108.5  124.5
2014January7,2734,7132,560 102.9  121.7
 February7,4154,6122,803 104.2  117.9
 March7,1195,1231,996 99.0  133.0
 April7,0804,5722,508 100.6  123.0
 May8,1715,2642,907 109.9  134.6
 June7,9324,9982,934 104.8  126.4
 July6,9515,5911,360 92.7  140.2
 August8,3885,3843,004 113.3  131.3
 September8,0305,2892,741 105.9  130.7
 October7,8735,5092,364 100.2  135.3
 November7,4085,7991,609 94.1  144.6
 December9,3435,4963,848 122.2  136.4
 
2015January8,6415,0073,633 111.0  128.0
 February8,9665,3163,650 116.1  132.0
 March8,6795,7392,941 111.4  137.2
 April9,7405,6784,061 118.6  130.5
 May9,3765,8873,489 108.7  135.2
 June9,3455,7063,639 114.2  143.4
 July9,0766,1022,974 114.5  149.2
 August9,1505,7253,425 118.7  139.0
 September8,9865,7863,200 110.4  147.4
 October10,8206,2504,570 128.7  171.9
 November9,5216,1083,413 121.3  164.2
 December10,4826,8463,635 130.0  181.2
   
2016January9,3094,9804,330 131.3  140.9
 February8,8075,4143,393 112.4  139.4
 March9,2445,8973,347 127.5  154.7
 April9,7465,6054,141 129.6  144.2
 May9,5286,3963,131 129.1  162.7
 June10,1126,5753,538 133.8  162.3
 July9,0926,0753,017 122.3  152.0
 August 10,5555,8494,706 137.6  152.5
 September10,0926,5373,556 131.0  162.5
 October10,2525,6374,615 134.5  136.2
 November10,3196,6703,649 134.4  166.1
 December10,1326,3663,767 134.0  161.4
      
2017January10,2715,2914,980....
February10,5766,0824,494....
 March10,1505,0995,051....
1 Based on seasonal patterns up to December 2016. Accordingly all values in this table may have been revised.
.. Indices are not yet available.
Table 3 Goods Exports and Imports classified by commodity1
€million
SITC (Rev 4)ExportsImports
MarchMarchJan-MarJan-MarMarchMarchJan-MarJan-Mar
20162017201620172016201720162017
0Food and live animals8751,0002,3642,5965785771,6321,687
00Live animals other than animals of Division 03162548831163551
01Meat and meat preparations3283358749068282231225
02Dairy products and birds' eggs1341713514195964164177
03Fish, crustaceans, molluscs and preparations thereof557914516124236765
04Cereals and cereal preparations293591999787249253
05Vegetables and fruit27276673110113299301
06Sugars, sugar preparations and honey1915584133319591
07Coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and manufactures thereof293494994552141144
08Feeding stuff for animals (excluding unmilled cereals)232864777165212207
09Miscellaneous edible products and preparations2152515736374754138173
1Beverages and tobacco991043033168174205181
11Beverages 941042893156970175169
12Tobacco and tobacco manufactures501411343013
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1281643564538388217220
21Hides, skins and furskins, raw111333350000
22Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits 11332388
23Crude rubber (including synthetic and reclaimed) 00011132
24Cork and wood1411372913113732
25Pulp and waste paper471520691414
26Textile fibres and their wastes121234331133
27Crude fertilisers and minerals (excluding coal, petroleum and precious stones)1211333117163739
28Metalliferous ores and metal scrap619816926920215863
29Crude animal and vegetable materials nes1211323324265858
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials46721302462844198691,247
32Coal, coke and briquettes1111302810253676
33Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials335495189198326606965
34Gas, natural and manufactured00147463220197
35Electric current1742525610
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes714192924295972
41Animal oils and fats71316272257
42Fixed vegetable fats and oils112219244760
43Animal or vegetable fats and oils, processed; waxes00103276
5Chemicals and related products5,3706,28415,30717,3641,1631,3753,3553,890
51Organic chemicals1,9041,9615,2014,876286335905921
52Inorganic chemicals913273728267280
53Dyeing, tanning and colouring materials1437389421205757
54Medical and pharmaceutical products2,3673,0877,0199,2284465851,3061,769
55Essential oils; perfume materials; toilet and cleansing preparations7017682,0042,036117114329313
56Fertilisers (other than those of Division 27)11126378134161
57Plastics in primary forms374095926781200218
58Plastics in non-primary forms39451191295054140148
59Chemical materials and products nes2983338038708782212224
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1842015355563884131,1411,178
61Leather; leather manufactures nes; dressed furskins341091255
62Rubber manufactures nes97251928258173
63Cork and wood manufactures (excluding furniture)2226646920245967
64Paper, paperboard and articles thereof131437397176214216
65Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles and related products161344373939115108
66Non-metallic mineral manufactures nes38451071144344122127
67Iron and steel121538505564157176
68Non-ferrous metals6818254142130121
69Manufactures of metals nes65691931939196257285
7Machinery and transport equipment2,0511,6924,4504,5373,3081,9207,2055,885
71Power generating machinery and equipment62751251746497147232
72Machinery specialised for particular industries6765167148126109370322
73Metalworking machinery22579102829
74General industrial machinery and equipment nes and parts nes149188397480149141415406
75Office machines and automatic data processing machines (including computers)408244912749271248869804
76Telecommunications and sound equipment87114216254129124366362
77Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts5819311,6762,400202211634631
78Road vehicles (including air-cushion vehicles)282780743683071,2021,092
79Other transport equipment (including aircraft)667458722501,9906753,1752,006
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles1,2781,3553,6193,7327206772,0011,951
81Prefab buildings; plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings1314413621215962
82Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, cushions etc181650433741109116
83Travel goods, handbags and similar containers227612113233
84Articles of apparel; clothing accessories26267374157153449430
85Footwear44121132369294
87Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes5365821,5141,570162143449415
88Photographic apparatus; optical goods; watches and clocks1021152793324436109108
89Miscellaneous manufactured articles nes5775961,6441,658255236703692
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere14506977293688101
Unclassified estimates251125149295148208434465
           
Total10,10411,06227,30030,2016,8075,81517,20616,878
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. March 2017 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
MarMarJan-MarJan-MarMarMarJan-MarJan-Mar
20162017201620172016201720162017
Austria2942979426297374
Belgium1,0051,3883,6403,752123134362352
Bulgaria57212221195
Croatia43880191
Cyprus42860011
Czech Republic33308897452813997
Denmark4761158147324391108
Estonia221761133
Finland2434669413113734
France4734351,2041,2511,0047731,8121,986
Germany7679081,9632,1996945731,7631,527
Great Britain1,1381,1293,0633,1871,2961,3713,7903,867
Greece18245971581316
Hungary 3524816311122329
Italy 20419764361210998323439
Latvia972016581222
Lithuania328710162329
Luxembourg6518173286
Malta33871143
Netherlands4875221,3911,399217218643618
Northern Ireland1341433924249397263290
Poland1571233712895151149144
Portugal28428111416385570
Romania242762749102227
Slovakia7619143399
Slovenia79161723117
Spain234199686639107110292334
Sweden67681801864969123145
EU country not specified2488542446258047
Total EU5,0035,45314,42014,8363,9713,73710,14910,288
  of which United Kingdom1,2721,2723,4553,6121,3891,4694,0534,157
Euro-Zone33,3073,8299,93410,3152,3282,0275,4185,530
         
Australia6273179212682421
Brazil2112474512203642
Canada1091272733419368149186
China42947336741,5613533541,0041,021
India3454751066256160149
Japan22222047456112198373324
Malaysia1617444928298277
Mexico11114034540628338397
Norway2126569572141195429
Russia244078119312665127
Saudi Arabia123782992081121
Singapore516813717124147452
South Africa14224656692021
South Korea72582091588181223285
Switzerland7354891,2751,0447076279181
Taiwan17196147262010658
Thailand161448503837108101
Turkey37521181253937129150
USA2,5322,9786,8809,0261,4007743,0872,608
Other countries5163891,486984214171563546
Country unknown574176313025294115
Total Non-EU5,1025,60912,88015,3652,8362,0787,0576,590
     
Total10,10411,06227,30030,2016,8075,81517,20616,878
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. March 2017 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.
4China 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 SITCMarMarJan-MarJan-MarMarMarJan-MarJan-Mar
20162017201620172016201720162017
Great Britain1,1381,1293,0633,1871,2961,3713,7903,867
0Food and live animals312332860922235243658677
1Beverages and tobacco1717464529267159
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels3231859014163940
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials335488123160222515629
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes1123441012
5Chemicals and related products327310868955201202560577
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material8186231232144157425440
7Machinery and transport equipment213161516436243251741719
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles9598287275181172517497
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere2738801088778254217
Other EU23,8654,32411,35711,6492,6752,3656,3596,421
0Food and live animals320376859921238251681740
1Beverages and tobacco37341009538349786
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels669618825027307375
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials127345828469972
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes613152616183847
5Chemicals and related products2,0382,7836,8827,3674255091,2211,492
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material7275211215138142410410
7Machinery and transport equipment7493821,4161,1571,5211,0423,0642,788
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles5324621,5591,345170152462428
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere33979421673141214282
USA2,5322,9786,8809,0261,4007743,0872,608
0Food and live animals30428512421166849
1Beverages and tobacco34421221342146
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels441012561216
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials0127296212868
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes--000000
5Chemicals and related products1,5101,9434,3175,9002644047161,116
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material1624506835359697
7Machinery and transport equipment5133851,1241,3309461851,837946
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4205231,1561,41911595306281
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere331096111929
China3 2947336741,5613533541,0041,021
0Food and live animals848920121923710
1Beverages and tobacco00110000
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels782224851412
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials-0000000
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0011-000
5Chemicals and related products1237725723434268877
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material22553234100107
7Machinery and transport equipment3550984968163172465491
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles4247104107108109313309
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere0000551615
Rest of World2,2751,8995,3264,7781,0839502,9652,961
0Food and live animals1291603604098163218210
1Beverages and tobacco1112344113123230
2Crude materials, inedible, except fuels1925517728317977
3Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials1013690130226479
4Animal and vegetable oils, fats and waxes0010461113
5Chemicals and related products1,3721,1712,9842,908240234770628
6Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material131438363945110123
7Machinery and transport equipment5402551,3096464362701,098941
8Miscellaneous manufactured articles189226513586146149402435
9Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere1363539791923
          
Total10,10411,06227,30030,2016,8075,81517,20616,878
1 Trade statistics revised since 2000. March 2017 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 (http://www.cso.ie/en/methods/externaltrade/) 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 (February 2017 in this publication), -4 (November 2016) and -8 (July 2016) 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 3,500 while around 2,100 must make a detailed export return. The response rate in terms of number of traders in March 2017 was 62%, covering an estimated 91% of the total value of intra-EU trade (these response rates will have increased by the next time data for March 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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