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Irish trade surplus widens 12% in March

Staff writer |
Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased by 12 percent to €4,106 million in March of 2016, compared to a downwardly revised €3,667 million surplus in the previous month.

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Exports fell 2 percent while imports dropped at a much faster 12 percent.

Seasonally adjusted exports declined by 181 million euros to 8,571 million euros in March from 8,752 million euros in February while imports dropped by a faster €619 million to €4,465 million from €5,084 million, preliminary figures showed.

Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports went down €75 million or 1 percent to €9,368 million, led by lower sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (-11 percent) and office machines and automatic data processing machines (-16 percent).

In contrast, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances rose 126 percent. The EU accounted for €4,604 million or 49 percent of total goods exports of which €1,128 million went to the UK and €1,003 million to Belgium. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,311 million or 25 percent of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports dropped sharply by €1,206 million or 19 percent to €5,154 million, mainly due to lower purchases of organic chemicals (-26 percent) and machinery specialised for particular industries (-65 percent); while imports of road vehicles rose by 11 percent.

The EU accounted for €3,187 million or 62 percent of the value of goods imports, with €1,282 million of total imports coming from the UK. The US with €700 million or 14 percent and China with €352 million or 7 percent were the main non-EU sources of imports.