Exports reach record high in 2017
Irish exports reached a record high of €122bn in 2017, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The 2pc increase in exports contributed to a trade surplus of €45bn.
The largest increase was in exports of medical and pharmaceutical products, which increased by €5bn (17pc) to €35bn in 2017 compared with 2016.
Exports of food and live animals also increased by double digits to €11bn.
Despite concerns around Brexit and the weakening of sterling, exports to the UK increased by €1bn or 8pc to €14bn in 2017.
The increase in exports to the UK was driven by exports of chemicals and related products, and food and live animals, with exports from these categories increasing by 22pc and 8pc respectively.
Imports also grew to record levels last year, increasing by €2.7bn or 4pc to €76.8bn.
During the year imports of chemicals and related products increased by €2bn or 16pc to €17bn, while imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials increased by almost a quarter to €4.7bn.
Imports from the UK also increased during the 12 months, up 10pc to €17bn. The main increases in imports from the UK were of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials which grew by almost a third to €2.7bn and of chemicals and related products which increased by just over a quarter to €2.3bn.
During the year exports to EU countries increased by 4pc to €63bn – reaffirming the Blocs position as the biggest customer for Irish exports.
Imports from EU countries also increased during the period to €45bn, a 3pc increase on 2016.