IMPORTS were up between December and January while exports increased more modestly, resulting in a decrease in the trade surplus. Imports grew by 5pc between December 2012 and January 2013 and exports increased by 0.5pc.
Preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office show seasonally adjusted growth in exports of €35m to €6,850m in January. Seasonally adjusted imports increased by €179m to €3,962 million resulting in a 5pc decrease in the trade surplus to €2,889m.
Exports decreased in value by 12pc in the year, while the value of imports dropped by 1pc. Export values were down to €6,788m in January 2013 from €7670m in January 2012. According to the CSO the reasons for this were decreases in the exporting of organic chemicals (down 32pc) and medical and pharmaceutical products (down 18pc).
The value of imports stood at €4,424m in January 2013, down €40m (-1pc) on January 2012 values. While imports of chemicals increased by €118m and food and live animals increased by €43m, there was a decrease of €253m in the imports of ‘other transport equipment’, a category which includes aircraft.
The EU received 56pc of exports, worth €3,784m in January 2013. It was also the main source of imports, accounting for 62pc of the value of imports in January 2013. Great Britain provided 29pc of the value of imports.
The USA was the main non-EU destination for exports accounting for 24pc (€1,610m) of these. The USA (17pc) and China (5pc) were the main non-EU sources of imports.