Exports hit highest ever level of €165 billion in 2021 – CSO
The value of exported goods from Ireland rose to their highest level ever last year of just over €165 billion, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show today.
The CSO figures also show that cross-border trade in goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic has grown dramatically in the first full year since Brexit.
Today’s CSO figures show that 2021 was a record year for exports with just over €165 billion worth of goods leaving our shores, up 2%, or €3 billion, on 2020 and the highest ever total.
Medical and pharmaceutical products dominated our trade, accounting for 38% of exports.
Imports also grew strongly as the economy recovered, reaching €102.6 billion – an increase of 18%.
This marked the first time that the value of imports has topped €100 billion.
The biggest share of imports was Machinery & Transport equipment, which accounted for just over €40 billion or 39% of imports. Within that category, aircraft and “other transport equipment” accounted for €14.4 billion or 14% of total imports.
There was also a €2.8 billion increase, or 82%, in the importation of mineral fuels as the economy reopened.
Cross-border trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic showed the most dramatic change last year, today’s CSO figures show.
Imports from Northern Ireland rose by 65% to €3.956 billion, while exports to Northern Ireland rose by 54% to €3.696 billion.
Exports to Great Britain, which make up 9% of our exports, rose by 17% to €14.4 billion. Imports from Great Britain fell by 13% to €15.4 billion.
Exports to EU countries, which accounts for 37% of exports, fell by 4% to €61.5 billion. Imports from EU countries rose by 13% to €24.3 billion.
EU countries account for 33% of imports, the CSO noted.
Meanwhile, exports to non-EU countries rose by 6% to €103.8 billion last year.
The USA remains Ireland’s largest single export destination accounting for 32% of the value of exports, or €52.5 billion.