Irish exports and imports hit record highs in 2022

The value of Irish exports and imports hit a new record high last year, according to the Central Statistics Office, despite the challenging economic backdrop.

Total exports reached €208 billion, up over €42 billion or 26% compared with the previous year.

While total imports were worth €140 billion, an increase of €36 billion or 35%.

“In December 2022, Ireland’s unadjusted exports of goods increased by €1.7 billion to €14.8 billion compared with December 2021,” said Ciarán Counihan, Statistician in the International Trade in Goods Division.

“When seasonally adjusted, exports of goods rose by €575 million when compared with November 2022.”

The export growth was once again propelled in large part by the pharma sector, with the value of medical and pharmaceutical products rising by €17.4 billion across the year, or 28%, to €80 billion.

While organic chemical exports increased by almost €11 billion, or 42%, to €36.8 billion.

On the import side, the value of mineral fuels and lubricants brought into the country rose by 112% to over €13 billion across 2022.

While chemical imports increased in value by €12.5 billion, to €38.4 billion.

The value of machinery and transport equipment imports leapt by €9.3 billion to €50.1 billion.

“The war in Ukraine significantly influenced trade in 2022 as European countries re-aligned their trading relationships to wean themselves off Russian gas and ensure sufficient energy supplies were available this winter,” said Robert Purdue, FX Dealer of Ebury Partners Ireland.

“As such there has been a steep rise in petroleum and gas imports to replenish storage.”

“The increase in the export of goods was primarily driven by a significant increase in medical and pharmaceutical products leaving the country. This sector continues to dominate the exports of goods as the industry flourishes in Ireland.”

“It marks an impressive year of goods trade for Ireland in volatile economic times and indicates that Irish businesses can look to the future with renewed optimism as economies stabilise.”

The market that recorded the biggest increase in exports in 2022 was the EU, rising 31% or €18.9 billion to €80.6 billion compared to 2021.

Exports to Northern Ireland also rose by 31% or €1.2 billion.

Exports to the USA increased by 27% or €10.5 billion and to Great Britain by 19% or €2.8 billion, with the value of goods going to the rest of the world rising by 27%.

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