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Irish exports hit record-breaking €208bn in 2022

The value of Irish good exports reached a record high in 2022, rising to €208bn year-on-year despite a sharp downturn in economic activity.

According to the Central Statistics Office, last year’s figures represent a €42bn increase compared to 2021, with the record-breaking figure largely driven by Ireland’s pharmaceutical and scientific sectors.

Exports of medical & pharmaceutical products accounted for 36% of total exports, increasing year-on-year by €642m to €5,297m in December 2022 compared with December 2021. Similarly, organic chemical exports rose by €515m to €2,263m.

On a monthly basis, good exports rose to just under €15bn in December 2022, a €1.7bn increase on the same month with 2021, with CSO statistician, Ciarán Counihan saying, “When seasonally adjusted, exports of goods rose by €575 million when compared with November 2022.”

The latest figures also reported imports at a record high, climbing to €140bn in 2022. Unadjusted goods imports were €11.4bn which was €225m higher than imports in December 2021.

“The unadjusted imports for December 2022 were valued at €11.4 billion, a growth of €225 million on December 2021. Seasonally adjusted imports were €10.4 billion in December 2022,” said Mr Counihan.

Imports from Great Britain dropped by 10% to €1.7bn in December 2022, compared with the same month in 2021.

The largest decrease was in the imports of chemical and related products while exports to Great Britain were unchanged in December 2022 compared with the same month 2021.

“Great Britain remains an important player in Ireland’s export market, and this is evidenced by the fact that exports to Great Britain in 2022 were €17,167 billion, an increase of €2,749 million (+19%) compared with 2021,” said Grant Thornton Tax partner, Jarlath O’Keefe.

“The CSO figures for 2022 confirmed that there has been a significant increase in cross border trade on the island of Ireland in 2022 as the impact of Brexit continues.”

The EU accounted for €5,992m of total Irish goods exports in December 2022, roughly 41%, of which €2,201m went to Germany, €1,104m went to the Netherlands, and €866m went to Belgium.

The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €4,390m or 30% of total exports in at the end of 2022. Total Irish exports to the USA were €63,032m.

Emer Walsh © Irish Examiner 2023